Hot Start Leads Women's Basketball Past Vikings

Hot Start Leads Women's Basketball Past Vikings

SALEM, Mass.—For the second-straight game, UMass Boston used a strong opening and closing quarter to dispatch a non-conference foe, as the Beacons knocked off host Salem State University 69-59. 

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 69, Salem State 59

(UMass Boston 2-0) 

(Salem State 2-0) 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Beacons jumped out to a 22-9 lead after the first quarter and never let Salem State get closer than four points the rest of the way. 

Sophomore Jalani Jackson (Brockton, Mass.) paced the way with a career-high 18 points, including 12 in the final stanza. She went 4-8 from the field and knocked down all three of her shots from distance.  

Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) turned in her second double-double in as many games. The sophomore finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals. 

Meg Dixon (Hanover, Mass.) was the third Beacon in double-figures. She added 10 points and nine rebounds. 

Salem State's Kia Fernandes led all players with 22 points and 16 rebounds in 39 minutes of action. Tyra Scott was the only other Viking to finish in double-figures, as she chipped in with 11 points off the bench. 

UMass Boston jumped all over the hosts early. The Beacons ran out to a 10-1 lead and pushed their advantage to 17-3 with 3:09 to go in the first quarter. Whitney Fulton (Hamden, Conn.) was especially dangerous during the opening minutes, as she knocked down two of the Beacons' three 3-pointers. 

Salem State managed to cut the deficit to five midway through the second quarter, but the Beacons immediately answered with a 5-0 run. Geanna Williams (Cromwell, Conn.) hit a jumper and Dixon connected on a 3-pointer to push the lead to 30-20.  

UMass Boston tried the put the game away in the opening minutes of the second half. The Beacons stretched their 30-22 halftime advantage to 18 points in the first 3:46 of the third quarter. Dixon paced the Beacons during the run with five points, while Jackson and Grassi chipped in five more.

Salem State immediately countered with an 8-0 run and cut the deficit to 44-40 on a 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer. 

Just as they did in the third quarter, UMass Boston went on a run to extend their lead. Grassi went on a 5-0 run of her own in the opening 2:59, as she hit a layup and three free throws, to go along with two steals. 

The Vikings would never get closer than seven the rest of the way, as the Beacons shot 50 percent (6-12) from the field in the fourth. 

BY THE NUMBERS

  • The Beacons shot 33.9 percent (20-59) from the field and 8-16 (50 percent) from distance. 
  • Fulton (nine) and Williams (eight) chipped in with 17 of the Beacons' 20 bench points.  
  • UMass Boston improved to 4-12 all-time against the Vikings with the victory. The Beacons have won two in a row, after defeated Salem State in the last meeting on November 22, 2014. 
  • The Beacons have outscored their opponents 37-16 in the first quarter and 53-33 in the fourth quarter this season. They have been outscored in the second and third quarters of both games. 

WHO'S NEXT 

UMass Boston will take on 2017-18 NCAA Tournament team Keuka College on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Emerson College. The Beacons will take on Keuka on Day 1 of the Emerson College Tournament and then play either Emerson or Dean College on Sunday.