DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The Western New England University women's basketball team built a nine-point halftime lead over Babson College and held on late to secure a 57-55 victory in the championship game of the Lafrance Hospitality Tournament on Sunday afternoon at the Tripp Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Dartmouth.
Senior guard Emily Farrell (New Fairfield, Conn.) led the Golden Bears for the second straight day with a team-high 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Farrell was named Tournament MVP after averaging 18.5 points, 6.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game over the two contests.
Junior guard Julia Quinn (Thomaston, Conn.) chipped in with 11 points off the bench on her way to earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team, while senior forwards Courtney Carlson (Woodbury, Conn.) and Alyssa Stefanelli (Chicopee, Mass.) recorded eight points each.
Senior Emily Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.) paced the Beavers with a game-high 20 points on 10-of-15 shooting to go with seven rebounds, one steal and one block. Freshman Megan Bauman (East Lyme, Conn.) added 11 points and six assists for Babson while senior Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) contributed ten points, five assists and four boards.
Quinn buried a pair of first quarter triples for the Golden Bears and Carlson scored six points in the opening frame as Western New England led 20-15 after ten minutes of play.
The Golden Bears stretched their advantage to ten (30-20) midway through the second period following a Carlson layup that capped a 6-0 run, and Western New England went on to hold a 36-27 lead at halftime.
A jumper by senior forward Meghan Orbann (East Hampton, Conn.) four minutes into the third quarter gave the Golden Bears their largest lead of the afternoon (42-29), but Babson outscored Western New England 19-9 over the remainder of the period to close the gap to three (51-48) heading into the fourth.
Western New England maintained its slim lead for the majority of the final quarter, until Tamulionis connected from long range to tie the contest at 55-55 with 2:13 to play. Farrell gave the Golden Bears the lead for good on a short jumper with 1:15 on the clock, and Western New England held on down the stretch to secure the win.
• Western New England outrebounded Babson 37-28 and held a 21-12 advantage in bench points.
• The win improves the Golden Bears to 5-2 in seven all-time meetings with the Beavers. Sunday's contest was the first matchup between the two teams since 2007.
Western New England (3-1) returns home to host Worcester State on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. Babson (1-1) plays Ithaca next Sunday at 2 p.m. in a tournament at Amherst College.