This past Tuesday marked what would, hopefully, be a long playoff run for the men’s and women’s basketball teams here at UMass Boston. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be the first time both the men and women have been in the Little East Conference tournament since the 2019-2020 season. So, let’s take a look at how the Beacons fared this past Tuesday in the LEC tournament quarterfinals.
First up, the sixth ranked UMass Boston women’s basketball team went up against the third ranked UMass Dartmouth. The Beacons did not come out firing as they shot 3–13 in the first quarter, with 11 of those shots coming beyond the arc. The Beacons ended the night shooting 27.5 percent from the field, whereas UMass Dartmouth shot 50.7 percent from the field, which was ultimately the difference in the game as they beat UMass Boston 91–51.
Despite the loss to end the season, there was one bright spot as senior Meg Dixon had a great night, logging 21 points and 10 rebounds in 39 minutes of play. Over the course of the season, Dixon put together a plethora of great games. On Nov. 20, she recorded 19 rebounds against Wellesley; on Jan. 24, she recorded a season 35 points against Castleton University; and on Feb. 2, she hit seven threes against UMass Dartmouth. Although it was a tough way to end her senior year, there is still a lot to be proud of from this past season.
The seventh ranked UMass Boston men’s basketball team played the second ranked Eastern Connecticut State University in the LEC quarterfinal. Things were looking a little rocky for the Beacons in the first half, as they shot just 11–31 from the field and falling behind 36–28. They got back on track in the second half, as their shooting improved slightly as they went 17–36 from the field. The Beacons were able to outscore the Warriors by five points in the second half, but the game would ultimately end 76–73 in favor of the Warriors.
One glaring stat from this game that should not go unnoticed were the Beacons’ numbers from the free throw line. The Beacons shot 11–20 from the free throw line, whereas the Warriors went 14–18, which was ultimately the difference in the game. If the Beacons could have managed to hit just 15–20 free throws, they would have been on their way to the semifinals. Unfortunately, things didn't pan out that way, and now we are looking at the end of the basketball season here at UMass Boston.
Obviously, as one might expect, there have been a lot of roster changes since the 2019-2020 season for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The women went into this season with just two seniors, and the men’s team went into the season with just two seniors as well. What this tells us is that there is a lot of time for both the men and women to improve upon the season they just had in the future. With the majority of the basketball players being juniors or younger for the Beacons, I expect the arrow will be pointed up for the future of UMass Boston basketball in the years to come.