NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Senior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.) had 17 points and 12 rebounds to help the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs hold off the University of Southern Maine Huskies for a 65-61 win in Little East Conference women's basketball contest Wednesday night at the Tripp Athletic enter.
With the win, UMass Dartmouth remains undefeated at 5-0 overall and 1-0 in the Little East. Southern Maine is now 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the LEC.
After stumbling a bit in the first quarter to trail UMD 26-17, Southern Maine used a stifling defensive effort to limit the Corsairs to just eight second half points and 16.7 percent shooting from the field to pull to within a possession 34-31 at the halftime break. Seven different players scored in the second quarter for Southern Maine in a balanced effort.
The game went back and forth in the third with USM taking a brief 37-36 on an elbow jumper from senior Alexa Srolovitz (Montreal, Quebec/New Hampton School (NH)) assisted by junior Jackie Luckhardt (Londonderry, N.H.) on an out-of-bounds play with just over six minutes left in the quarter. However, UMD strung together a 12-2 run over the next four minutes on four points each from sophomore Lauren Empey (Middleboro, Mass.) senior Kayla McMahon (Hanover, Mass.) to lead by nine 48-39 with 2:37 to play. However, after a 30-second time out from the USM bench, the Huskies closed the quarter on a 6-0 run to trail by three, 48-45, including a last second jumper from Luckhardt on a Srolovitz assist.
Clawing to stay ahead of the Huskies, Examond provided the Corsairs with points in the paint to open the fourth and gave her team some breathing room with a layup to make it 58-48 with 3:03 in regulation to cap a 10-3 UMD run. Southern Maine continued to fight, however, and made it a one possession game on a three from junior Katie Howe (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) 64-61 with 17 seconds to play. Howe's three was the final basket of a 13-6 run for the Huskies. With the game up for grabs, UMD got two free throws in the closing moments to seal the win.
Examond finished with a game-high 17 on 5-of-13 from the field and a 7-for-13 mark from the free throw line. UMD took advantage of a significant disparity in free throws making 17 of 32 compared to 7-of-10 for Southern Maine. Senior Jess Korzec (West Brookfield, Mass.) had 16 points, while senior Meagan Donvan (Abington, Mass.) had 14 points.
Srolovitz led USM with 16 points, six rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Frehsman Victoria Harris (Lewiston, Maine) had nine points off of the bench for USM, while senior Kimberly Howrigan (Fairfield, Vermont/Bellows Free Academy) had eight points, five rebounds, and two assists. Juniors Chantel Eells (Turner, Maine/Leavitt) had seven points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Luckhardt had five points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Southern Maine remains on the road for its next contest and will take on Castleton University in a Little East Conference game on Saturday (1:00 p.m.).