By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)
For the first-time in program history, the UMass Dartmouth women’s basketball is headed to the ’round of 16′ – or as some call it, the ‘sweet 16.’
The Corsairs, who earned an at-large bid to this year’s NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament, earned a pair of impressive wins this weekend, defeating both La Roche and No. 11 Montclair State to advance to next weekend’s third round.
Alicia Kutil highlighted her team’s effort against the Red Hawks, concluding the contest with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Nakira Examond and Leah Douty netted 13 points, respectively, while Rachel McCarron added 12 points, four rebounds and two assists.
UMass Dartmouth secured an early lead over Montclair State, finishing the first frame with a 23-13 advantage before entering the break with a 35-24 lead.
The Red Hawks would claw back in the second half, pulling within two-points (51-49) early in the fourth quarter, but the Corsairs responded, ending the session on a 20-14 run.
Saturday’s affair between the Corsairs and Red Hawks featured four lead changes and a trio of ties. UMass Dartmouth sank 26 of 52 shots, while holding Montclair State to just 27 field goals, including six trifectas – the Red Hawks converted 27 field goals in five games this season, but this was the first time they had lost when sinking that amount of shots.
UMass Dartmouth returns to the hardwood next Friday, March 10 when they face SUNY New Paltz, which advanced to the third round with back-to-back wins over Bowdoin and Ithaca. The game will be played at Amherst College with tip-off scheduled for 5 p.m.