BOSTON – A late run and clutch free throw shooting in the final minutes of action led the UMass Boston Beacons to a 71-63 win over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in a Little East Conference women's basketball game Wednesday night.
With the win, UMass Boston improves to 16-2 overall and 7-1 in the Little East. Southern Maine drops its first game in the last five contests to stand at 9-9 overall and 6-2 in the Little East.
UMB's Joie Grassi had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead four Beacons in double-figures. Shania Osborne and Katie Mathieu each had 17 points. Osborne added eight rebounds, while Raven Kelsey tossed in 11 points and snagged seven boards.
Four players scored in double digits for the Huskies. Junior Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vt./Bellows Free Academy) had 16 points and six rebounds to lead Southern Maine. Junior Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH)) and freshman Kristen Curley (Gorham, Maine) each had 14 points. Srolovitz added five assists and four steals, while Curley had four rebounds, two steals and an assist. Sophomore Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt) posted a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Trailing the Beacons by three, 51-48, to start the fourth quarter, Southern Maine outscored UMB 7-2 over the next three and a half minutes to take a narrow 55-53 lead, capped by a three-pointer from Howrigan. In a hectic following 33 seconds, Grassi pulled her team even on their next possession with a layup, before Curley nailed a three for a 58-55 lead with 6:08 to go. Grassi made another layup to pull the Beacons to within a point and the score remained 58-57 over the next 90 seconds.
A pair of Howrigan free throws game USM a 60-57 lead, and the Huskies remained in front until UMB connected on back-to-back buckets on a three from Grassi and a jumper from Osborne for a 62-60. The Huskies responded on their next possession with a three from Srolovitz for a 63-62 and remained in front until the final 1:48. With just under two minutes to play, Mathieu canned a go-ahead three for the Beacons. USM misfired on its next three possessions, and was forced to foul UMB. With the game on the line going 6-6 for the 71-63 final.
Southern Maine returns to action on Saturday (1:00 pm) when it hosts Keene State College in a Little East Conference game.
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