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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Senior Morrison Shines as Beacons Make it to LEC Finals

Morrisons+career+is+winding+down%2C+but+shes+already+left+her+mark
Jan Volk
Morrison’s career is winding down, but she’s already left her mark

Kirstin Morrison, the fourth all time leading scorer in program history, had an idea that her final season on the University of Massachusetts Boston women’s basketball team would result in something special.
The senior, who also starred on the volleyball team in the fall, was fueled to have her basketball career end on a positive note after the volleyball team was eliminated in the first round of the Little East Conference Tournament in November. After finishing the regular season with an 18-7 record before entering the LEC Tournament as the third seed, the basketball team still had one major hurdle to overcome.
With a 0-25 all-time record in the LEC playoffs prior to this year, Morrison was determined to help the Beacons earn their first win in the tournament, when the team was matched with sixth-seeded Western Connecticut State University in the LEC quarterfinals on Feb. 24.
After hauling in 15 rebounds to go with her 14 points, the North Reading native helped UMass Boston advance to the semifinals with a 56-48 victory.
“When I first came into the season I knew we were going to have a good year, especially after I saw some of the freshman talent,” said Morrison. “With the way volleyball went this year, losing the first round of LEC’s made me want it even more with basketball because this is it for me. I’m so incredibly proud of the team and our chemistry that we’ve developed on the court is unstoppable.”
Now that the team has gotten the LEC monkey off of its back, it has now cleared a major hurdle towards a bright future. This was the best season in the history of the program and the Beacons, who beat UMass Dartmouth in the semi-finals, 72-49, and came within one basket of winning the LEC Title. 
While the senior center, who averaged 10.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game throughout the regular season, admitted to added nerves in the playoffs, Morrison believes the team’s ability to earn the program’s first LEC Tournament win has the Beacons believing in their capabilities.
The team’s confidence is warranted. Last season ended with a 53-45 loss to the University of Southern Maine in the LEC quarterfinals. Before that, Morrison and the Beacons were knocked out of the Tournament with a 71-59 loss to UMass Dartmouth in their first game.
But this year is different for Morrison, who is only one of two seniors—forward Brittany Moore being the other—on the team. As the Beacons reached new heights in the tournament, the deep playoff run extended her remarkable career for the Beacons.
“This being my last season here at UMass [Boston] is more than just bittersweet, I don’t want to grow up,” said Morrison with a laugh before the UMass Dartmouth win. “It’s obviously coming down to my last games and my experience here at UMass [Boston] has been everything I’ve wanted and even more. The memories, friends, teammates, coaches, and family I’ve made here have made it more than memorable and I’m sure I will be sticking around next year, hopefully helping out.”
Morrison hasn’t only been impacted by her teammates and coaches, however. The senior said her motivation stems away from the court and across the campus, where she believes she has gained insight on how to succeed in the future, without a Beacons jersey on her back.
Morrison, whose career ended with a 64-62 loss in OT to Eastern Connecticut in the LEC Championship, has always carried inspiration from those who have impacted her to try to help lift UMass Boston to the LEC Championship.
“Playing here at UMass [Boston] has taught me some valuable lessons about life and I will continue using my experiences out in the real world,” she said. “The support I’ve got these past four years is incredible—especially from the whole athletic department and Chancellor Motley. I have to say when they preach how UMass [Boston] is one big family, it’s the truth. I’ve made some amazing friendships and relationships here that I wouldn’t trade for the world.”