86°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Beacons’ split in men’s and women’s LEC openers

The UMass Boston men’s and women’s basketball teams recently played their first Little East Conference matchups of the year, both against Eastern Connecticut State. The schools faced off last Saturday, Dec. 3, on the Beacon’s home court. The men’s team came out on top, 67–58 (1), but the women’s team fell to the Warriors, 54–36 (2).

The men’s team showed dominance throughout the entire match. Sophomore guard Emanuel Zayas started the game on fire, scoring six of their first eight points. The Beacons would gain the lead early in the game and it would only grow from there. The Beacons led as much as 14 in the first half at one point, and went into halftime up 12 with a score of 35–23. (3)

The second half was more of the same, as the Beacons dominated all the way until the end, winning 67–58 and extending their win streak at the time to three in a row (3). Emanuel Zayas was, without a doubt, the player to watch this game. Zayas put up 17 points on 70 percent shooting and drained three out of four buckets from three-point land. Freshman guard Xavier McKenzie played a significant role in the win as well with 17 points of his own. Malik Lorquet continues his fantastic year, filling up the stat sheet with 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, all while shooting 70 percent. (4)

The Beacons’ defense absolutely shut down the warriors, holding almost all of their players to under 50 percent shooting. Only two players for Eastern Connecticut reached double figures in points, Rakesh Tibby and Quinton Lott, with 12 and 11 respectively. This great win starts the men’s team off with a positive record in the LEC conference, something they surely are happy about (4).

The women’s team started the game off strong, as seven early points from Meg Dixon helped the Beacon’s jump out to an early lead of 13–6. The first half was very competitive and consisted of several lead changes, and UMass Boston found themselves down three at halftime with the score being 23–20. (5)

However, the second half did not go as planned. Eastern Connecticut absolutely shut down UMass Boston, holding them to 16 points for the rest of the game (5). Starter Mariah Dunn ended with 23 points and nine rebounds on 69 percent shooting, and her teammate Anna Barry put together a fantastic performance as well with 18 points, eight rebounds and three blocks on 53 percent shooting. (6)

Dunn and Barry could not be stopped, and they led the Warriors to a convincing 54–36 victory over the Beacons. Shots struggled to fall for UMass Boston, as they only made 19 percent of their shots throughout the game, including only four field goals in the second half. Alexah Potter put on a solid performance with 12 points, nine rebounds, five blocks and two steals, but it was not enough to save their shooting slump. (6)

Chances are, the Beacons will probably not have another shooting night like this dismal one again. They have shown in previous matchups that they can put the ball in the basket at an efficient rate. It may not have been the start to conference play that they wanted, but there’s no reason to count this team out right now.

Both the men’s and women’s teams have played another LEC game since the opener against the Western Connecticut Wolves, where the men lost 82–66 (1) and the women lost 65–54 (2). They both have one more LEC match before the new year against Rhode Island College on Saturday, Dec. 17 (1,2). The conference matchups will become more frequent from there, and the Beacons will be facing some tough opponents. These teams have played at a high level before and hope to overcome their 1–1 and 0–2 start and show off their true capabilities in their upcoming games.

Sources

  1. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-basketball/schedule

  2. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-basketball/schedule

  3. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2022/12/3/zayas-zips-mens-basketball-past-eastern-connecticut-in-lec-opener.aspx

  4. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-basketball/stats/2022-23/eastern-connecticut-state/boxscore/5084

  5. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2022/12/3/shooting-woes-sink-womens-basketball-in-lec-opener-against-eastern-connecticut.aspx

  6. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-basketball/stats/2022-23/eastern-connecticut-state/boxscore/5057

About the Contributor
Liam Crampton, Sports Writer