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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Women’s Basketball off to hot start

Murphy+has+led+the+Beacons+to+one+of+their+best+seasons+in+program+history
Murphy has led the Beacons to one of their best seasons in program history

Throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, numerous attention-grabbing stories have emerged from Clark Athletic Center. You may have heard by now about the Women’s Soccer team having yet another stellar season, claiming the no. 1 seed in the Little East Conference Tournament this past fall. Surely you have heard that the Women’s Volleyball team won their second straight New England Regional Championship, advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. You may have heard that living-legend Charlie Titus won his 300th career game as the Beacons Men’s Basketball coach back in November, or the emergence of the Men’s Hockey team, climbing into the top-15 in the national rankings and playing at Fenway Park. You may have also heard that Women’s Ice Hockey Goalie Coach Molly Schaus landed a spot on the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team.
What you may not have heard about is what could be the most surprising and interesting story out of Clark — the rise of the Women’s Basketball team. At 11–6, the squad has gotten off to one of the best starts in program history. In fact, the team was able to match the best ten game start in school history with an 8–2 mark.
What has been the key to the success so far this season? “Everyone has been accepting and executing their roles,” Head Coach Courtney Mattingly said. “Everyone has bought into the philosophy [which is to] defend. When we were on a three-game losing streak [Jan.6 – Jan.14], we did not lock teams down. Lately, we have gotten back to doing just that.”
The phrase “defense wins championships” can certainly fit with this group. They rank 1st in the Conference in both opponent field goal percentage and defensive rebounds, as well as ranking in the top-three in numerous other defensive categories such as field goals against and opponent’s points per game. As was evident in their recent win over UMass Dartmouth, the Beacons have approached this season with a defense-first mentality, and it has certainly paid off.
They allowed their LEC rivals to shoot only 30.0 percent from the field and forced 11 turnovers, while not giving up a single second-chance point all night. What was even more impressive was the fact the team held their opponent to just 5–19 in 3-point shooting, a stat UMass Dartmouth was leading the LEC in going into the night.
Despite a recent rash of injuries and and a few players having bouts with illness, the team has stuck together and has been carried by the stellar play of junior center/forward Kirsten Morrison and sophomore forward Olivia Murphy. Morrison is currently second on the team in scoring average with just under 10 points per game this season, while Murphy is the conference leader in both scoring and rebounding.
Senior guard Andrea Suffredini has also stepped up her game in recent weeks. She is currently second in the Conference in Steals and ranks in the top-20 in Scoring. Coach Mattingly credits both Suffredini’s and junior forward/center Brittany Moore’s leadership as one of the key hidden factors to the team’s impressive run.
Despite the good start, Coach Mattingly knows that there is still room for improvement for her team. On whether or not her team has faced an increase of expectations or any added pressure, Coach Mattingly stated: “We try not to think about that. We always try to find something that motivates us. Our motto is ‘get better each day;’ right now is the most important time.” The team’s impressive season has also gotten many around Clark to believe that this team may be ready to make a run at an LEC Championship. However, Mattingly believes her team must improve in Conference play in order for that to happen. But first, her team must get healthy. “When we get everyone back,”
Mattingly said, “we can can get back to playing our way of basketball, by locking teams down and defending.” It has been a very interesting season so far for the Women’s Basketball squad, and with a month left in the season, this team could quite possibly supply the Clark Athletic Center with some memorable moments UMass Boston has never seen before.

Throughout the 2013-2014 academic year, numerous attention-grabbing stories have emerged from Clark Athletic Center. You may have heard by now about the Women’s Soccer team having yet another stellar season, claiming the no. 1 seed in the Little East Conference Tournament this past fall. Surely you have heard that the Women’s Volleyball team won their second straight New England Regional Championship, advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.