WORCESTER – Junior Jalani Jackson (Brockton, MA) drained a three with 27.9 seconds left in the game to put UMass Boston women's basketball on top for good as the Beacons defeated host WPI 49-42 on Tuesday evening.
With the victory, UMass Boston improves to 3-0 on the year, while the Engineers are now 3-1 with the loss.
The game was defensive-minded battle but saw multiple ties and lead changes including in the closing minutes of the fourth.
UMass Boston led 35-33 after pair of Rachel Tutkus (Braintree, MA) free throws, but a three from Melanie Presseau (Manchester, NH) put the hosts back on top 36-35 with 3:24 on the clock. The lead was short live as a Jackson three and a pair of freebies put the Beacons up 40-36 with just under 1:41 on the clock.
WPI cut the gap to three on a free throw by Victoria Mirecki (Rock Tavern, NY) and another huge three from Presseau tied the game at 40-40 with 47.5 on the clock. Jackson answered with a three off the dribble on the ensuing possession to UMass Boston in the lead for good with 28 seconds left in the game. UMass Boston sank 6-of-6 from the line down the stretch to seal the win and hold off WPI.
UMass Boston started the game with four turnovers but got on the board when Joie Grassi (Plymouth, MA) converted one-of-two free throws with just under seven minutes on the clock. WPI's started the game 0-for-4 from the field with two turnovers, but took the lead on a three from Alana Keating (Leominster, MA) with 6:22 on the clock in the first.
The two teams traded the lead four time in the opening stanza before a layup from Maia Daugherty (Boston, MA) with just over a minute remaining gave the Beacons a 9-8 lead after a one.
WPI started the second quarter with an 11-2 run taking a 19-11, but the Beacons got threes from Jackson and Kailee Gautier (Newark, DE) to head to the half trailing 19-17.
Both teams struggled from the floor in the first half with WPI connecting on 7-of-21 from the floor with 11 turnovers and UMass Boston connecting on just 6-of-25 (24%) with 14 turnovers.
UMass Boston used an 11-2 run to open the third quarter and take a 28-21 lead midway through the frame. WPI used a 7-0 run to tie the game with just under two remaining, but two free throws from Keriann Farina (Arlington, MA) gave the Beacons a two-point lead after three.
The Engineers were paced by seven points apiece from Pressman, Keating and Spencer Vinson (Los Angeles, CA) while the Beacons were led by 20 points, seven rebounds and a steal from Jackson.
WPI shot 15-of-52 from the floor in the game and struggled from the line connecting on just 8-of-18 from the charity stripe. The Beacons also struggled from the floor connecting of just 12-of-47 but capitalized from the line shooting 83% (20-of-24).
WPI is back in action on the hardcourt on Thursday when they travel to Fitchburg State for a non-conference contest at 7pm. The Beacons are back in action at home on Saturday when they host Emmanuel College at Noon.