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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Marbles Marvels

UMass Point Guard Ashley Green drives down the court (Photo by Mike Kerpan)
UMass Point Guard Ashley Green drives down the court (Photo by Mike Kerpan)

Denny Green, former coach of the Arizona Cardinals said it best: “They are who we thought they were.”

The same goes for the UMass Boston women’s basketball team. They knew who the University of Southern Maine Lady Huskies were, but could do little about it. The Huskies came into Clark Athletic Center on Tuesday evening and showed everyone why they have won 72 consecutive conference games.

The Lady Huskies, lead by astounding senior forward Ashley Marble, jumped out to a 23-9 lead and never looked back. Marble led all scorers with a personal-career, record-tying 33 points in only 24 minutes of play. Marble also pulled down 14 rebounds and picked up four steals.

Before the game, Lady Beacons’ head coach Shawn Renee Polk said, “We can’t pay too much attention to [Marble] because she has a good supporting cast.” It was evident from the first half play of the Huskies that Marble’s supporting cast was indeed very good. In that half alone, eight other Huskies players entered the score book and starting sophomore forward Stacey Kent recorded four of the team’s 10 offensive rebounds.

The Lady Beacons were outplayed in every facet of the game, with leading scorer LaKeisha Tucker scoring only seven points (2-10 FG) and recording no rebounds in 22 minutes of play. “We didn’t do our job from the beginning,” Coach Polk said after the game.

“In my eyes, the loss was more metal than physical,” Coach Polk said, responding to the 23 turnovers committed by the Lady Beacons. Although there were no fast-break points recorded, the Lady Huskies kept pushing the tempo of the game, never slowing down until the end.

For the Lady Beacons, junior guard Ashley Greene was one of the few bright spots, scoring 11 (4-11 FG) points, grabbing five rebounds, dishing four assists and collecting three steals in 31 minutes. Sophomore forward Jenn Widener from Hyde Park led the Lady Beacons in rebounding with 11 boards in 25 minutes of play.

With this loss, the Lady Beacons’ record now stands at 15-9 over all and 8-5 in conference play. The Lady Huskies improved their record to an impressive 22-1 overall, while staying unbeaten (13-0) in conference play. Both teams are assured of a spot in this season’s Little East Conference Woman’s Basketball Tournament, with the Lady Huskies owning home-court advantage.

Marble, a senior from Topsfield, Maine is having the best season of her four-year college career, leading the Little East Conference in scoring (22.9 points per game) and rebounding (11.9 rebounds per game), while ranking second in field goal percentage (.513) and steals (2.39 steals per game).

Asked about her after the game, Coach Polk said, “[Marble] is an All-American,” but added later on that “she’s not the best I’ve ever seen at this level.” Although Marble ranks 10th in assists per game in conference, she always tried to include her teammates in what she was doing on the court.

There was some speculation after the game regarding whether or not the Lady Huskies’ coach Gary Fifield was running up the score in the second half. With 6:03 remaining in the game, Fifield’s team was up a game-high 49 points and just starting to let off the gas pedal. Coach Polk didn’t feel quite the same way. “[The Huskies] are a well coached team and it shows,” Polk said, disregarding any notion that Southern Maine was running up the score.

About the Contributor
Ryan Thomas served as the sports editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2007-2008; 2008-2009