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The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Senior night goodbye: Women’s basketball season ends

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Womens Hockey Home game from the past weekend. Image courtesy of Beacon Athletics. 

The end of February marked the end of winter sports. Women and men’s ice hockey both advanced to the New England Hockey Conference tournament but fell in the first bracket. Men’s Basketball also qualified for the Little East Conference tournament, and although they had a strong season and maintained an advantage throughout most of the game, they fell in the first bracket as well. Women’s basketball had almost secured their spot in the LEC tournament; however, a double streak of losses to teams beneath them in the standings ended their season early.

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, the basketball teams celebrated their Senior Night. The poster decorating the window of Clark Athletic Center’s gymnasium commemorated star forward Meg Dixon.

Dixon is a graduate student and the newest member of the 1,000-point club, ending her athletic career at UMass Boston with 1090 points. Before the tip-off, coaches and administrators took a second to recognize Dixon by gifting her a bouquet of flowers, a framed copy of her poster and also a second commemorative frame. Her family joined her for a picture with Coach Heather Jacobs.

The game itself painted a winning scenario; the Beacons were facing the University of Southern Maine, who stood below them in the standings at the seventh seed. The Beacons had a persistent attitude. Junior Alexa Potter, a key player during this game, opened the score three minutes in. At first, the game was even, but Southern Maine quickly caught an advantage, ending the first quarter with a 12–6 lead.

In the second quarter, forward Kerriann Farina was filled with force. Farina was the crafter of plays, thus, high energy on the court was present whenever she was out there. She kept possession of the ball and signaled numbers to her teammates to communicate plays. This shortly led to the first three-pointer by forward Sunny Green. Dixon kept the momentum going and showed control as she scored a triple herself. This shortened the Huskies advantage, bringing the Beacons closer at 14–11. The Beacons began to have a more defensive mindset; however, they entered halftime trailing 25–17.

The Beacons were playing with strategy yet seemed stagnant. Farina handled the direction of plays and Potter was the head of the offensive efforts. While others supported the plays as much as they could, players seemed stuck in their roles. On the contrary, University of Southern Maine seemed more dynamic and aggressive, and it made sense they had an advantage.

Offensive action decreased for the Beacons as the Huskies gained a ten-point advantage. Forward Paige Ollivierre entered the game to increase efforts and Farina didn’t take long to find her on offense. Still, the Huskies increased their lead, going into the fourth quarter with a 38–26 advantage, which only increased in the final quarter of play. Tatiannah Fevry and Beeban Jikiemi-Pearson scored, yet the game ended as a defeat for the Beacons, 53–38.

Saturday, Feb. 18 marked the last game of the 2022-2023 season for UMass Boston Women’s Basketball team. In this instance, the opposing team, Keene State, was celebrating their senior night. To commemorate their only graduating senior, Michelle LaBonte, she was awarded the first point of the game. She hadn’t been able to play due to injury. The Beacons stood back as LaBonte had her moment, and her teammates circled her in a hug. She then left the game with her palms in her eyes and Keene State player Kenzie Dunford entered as her substitute.

The Beacons scored a two-pointer after LaBonte left, but Keene State came back running, setting the score at 6–2. At this time, Coach Jacobs called the first timeout of the game. The Beacons took this as a restart, as they filled themselves with a little more fuel and evened the game at six apiece. Afterwards, a shot from Potter gave UMass Boston a momentary two-point advantage, but the Owls came back and evened the game.

Halfway through the first quarter, the small advantage continued. In the five minutes that followed, the team’s lack of dynamism showed, as they only scored two more points in the first quarter while Keene State gained a seven-point advantage over the Beacons, ending the first quarter at 21–14.

In the first few minutes of the second quarter, Dixon showed her precision, scoring a two-pointer followed by a free throw. Potter felt the momentum and attempted a three-pointer. Fevry caught Potter’s rebound and assertively scored the twentieth point for the Beacons. Nevertheless, the Owls were still ahead 25–20. The next point from the Beacons came at the hands of Green on a pass from Dixon.

Owl game commentators noted Keene State was playing more aggressively than in past games. They mentioned that this could be because the game was the Owls’ last chance to qualify for the LEC tournament. They may have felt a sense of urgency to win with LaBonte, who couldn’t take the court, and their Coach Keith Boucher who was in his 34th season on their side. They were trying to get Boucher a shot at the championship now that they had a chance (1).

On the other hand, the Beacons’ stiff structure and reliance on Dixon as a star player made their performance less combative. Thus, it was very exciting to see when Fevry and Ollivierre became leaders in the game and took center stage scoring for the Beacons, reflecting some vibrancy within the team.

The Owls maintained their advantage through the second period and reached half time ahead at 35–27. By the time the beacons were able to score the first point of the third quarter at the hands of Farina, it was almost halfway over, and the Owls were thirteen points ahead at 42–29.

There were moments when the Beacons showed they had potential to connect as a team. They made quick passes near Keene State’s basket and became enriched in energy. At the end of the third quarter though, Keene State maintained their advantage at 53–40. At this time, the Beacons began to accumulate fouls as they tried to find aggressiveness in hostility.

The game leaders were Farina who, beyond setting up plays, scored 12 points in total, and Fevry who scored eight. Sadly, this last game was a defeat for the Beacons who lost to the Owls with a final score of 68–56 (3).

Although the women’s basketball season ended on a low note by not being able to qualify for the tournament, athletes showed perseverance and grit, preparing since the beginning of the fall, juggling practice and lifting with schoolwork. During their season, they delivered the best they had and gave UMass Boston a fun, interesting season to tune into week in and week out. Best of luck to the team during their off season.

(1)https://littleeast.com/news/2023/2/18/lec-announces-2023-womens-basketball-championship-tournament-field.aspx

(2)https://keeneowls.com/sports/womens-basketball/roster/coaches/keith-boucher/717

(3)https://www.littleeast.tv/?B=433876

About the Contributor
Valentina Valderrama Perez, Features Writer