UMass Dartmouth Holds Off Westfield State, 87-83

WESTFIELD, Mass.  --- UMass Dartmouth ran out to a big first half lead, then held on down the stretch as the Corsairs held off Westfield State, 87-83 in a non-conference women's basketball match up at the Woodward Center on Tuesday night.

The Corsairs held an 18 point lead midway through the second quarter, which the Owls chipped away at all night.

UMD improves to 5-2 on the season, while Westfield is now 5-3 with the loss.  Both teams advanced to the NCAA tournament last season.

Ashley Brown and Alyssa Kutil led the Corsairs with 23 points each.  Kutil added nine rebounds and Brown handed out nine assists and grabbed nine rebounds.  Brown hurt the Owls with drives througout the evening, while the six-foot Kutil provided a strong inside presence.

Westfield was led by 18 points each from Alyssa Darling and Lucy Barrett. 

The Owls were hampered by poor shooting in the first half, connecting on just 29 percent of their shots from the floor.   The Corsairs grabbed a 42-24 lead with 4:30 left to play in the second quarter, but the Owls carved away at that lead, trailing 49-37 at the half, and 60-55 after three quarters.

Westfield twice cut the lead to as few as two points several times. With 3:18 left in the game, Westfield's Melissa Gray had a three-point try miss that would have given the Owls the lead.   Westfield cut the lead to 82-80 on Allison Hester's layup with 2:10 to play, but that was as close as the Owls would get.