Canton’s Colleen Moriarty and Erika Bornemann lead resurgent UMass-Dartmouth women’s basketball

BORNEMANN
BORNEMANN

Canton’s ‘towers’ of strength

As teammates on the girls’ basketball team at Canton High, Colleen Moriarty and Erika Bornemann were dubbed the “twin towers.”

Now, they are a tower of strength for the resurgent women’s team at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

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The former Hockomock League All-Stars were 1-2 in scoring and rebounding for the Corsairs (8-1 overall, 2-0 Little East Conference), who rode a five-game winning streak into the holiday break.

A 6-foot-1 senior captain, Moriarty is averaging a team-high 18.1 points per game and was second with 7.2 rebounds. Bornemann, a 6-foot-2 junior, was tops in rebounding (10.3) and second in scoring (10.9).

Each has contributed clutch late-game baskets.

Bornemann drained a 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds to play to put UMass up by a point (65-64) in a 69-64 victory Nov. 20 over Worcester State. Moriarty’s put-back that rolled around the rim before falling through with five seconds left made the difference in a 50-49 win Dec. 3 vs. Brandeis.

“I think the ball spun around about 10 times,” said Moriarty. “I wasn’t sure it was going in and I could see my teammates holding hands on the bench.”

Bornemann, who has set a goal of hauling down at least 10 rebounds per game, said she wasn’t playing particularly well prior to her big 3-pointer.

“The player guarding me was doubling down on Colleen and I got open,’’ she recalled, “and I called for the ball from our guard, Kelsey Garrity, and just popped it and it was all net.’’

She said head coach Amanda Van Voorhis jumped into her arms in reaction.

That play epitomized the defensive dilemma for UMass-Dartmouth’s opponents: Pay too much attention to three-year captain Moriarty in the post and Bornemann can torch you from the perimeter.

Both were all-conference second team selections a year ago when the Corsairs went 15-11, their first winning season in 19 years. They’ve both been named Little East Players of the Week this season.

In her final game before the break, Moriarty scored 23 points in a 77-49 decision over Johnson & Wales, her third consecutive 20-plus performance.

Recruited after Van Voorhis saw the two play in a summer league during their high school days, Bornemann and Moriarty take pride in being part of the program’s turnaround.

The close friends have benefited from grueling practice sessions in the paint with assistant coach Kyshawn Ruff, who played at Fordham.

“She’s 6-5 and we don’t usually go up against players her size. She’s made a big difference in our games,’’ said Moriarty, a three-sport captain in high school and who as a sophomore, was a member of Canton High’s state championship field hockey team in 2006. Her father, Dermot, is in the UMass-Dartmouth Hall of Fame for his prowess on the baseball field.

Bornemann, whose mother, Eileen, played basketball at Milton High, said she looked up to Moriarty in high school and is grateful for the opportunity to play alongside her in college.

“It seems like not a lot has changed over the years, and like Colleen I’m happy to be a part of making us a winning team. Playing without her next year will seem strange and sad, so I want to make this a year we both will never forget,’’ said Bornemann.

The team motto, “All out, all game, all season,’’ was provided by Moriarty at the request of her coach.

“Colleen is an extension of our coaching staff and our centerpiece. She has that special way of reaching out to her teammates,’’ said Van Voorhis.

“And Erika has emerged as a great offensive rebounder who defends our opponents’ quickest post player. She can even play the wing because she’s an outside threat.’’

The Corsairs roster includes sharp-shooting junior guard Erica Batchelder (Stoughton High), a transfer from Salem State; senior guard Shannon Singletary (Brockton High), a defensive specialist; and sophomore guard Melissa Daigle (Rockland High), who can handle the ball and shoot the three.

O’Brien on fire at Temple

After his transfer from Boston University in August, Weymouth’s Jake O’Brien is averaging 6.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in his first nine games at Temple (8-1). The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Boston College High graduate is averaging 18.1 minutes per game for coach Fran Dunphy . O’Brien sat out last season with an injury and opted to transfer because BU was ineligible for the America East Conference tournament following the school’s decision to leave for the Patriot League in 2013-14. As a senior at Temple, he was eligible immediately.

Honors for Brandeis

Brandeis University’s Mike Coven was named New England Division 3 Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The Duxbury resident’s 40th season was one of his best, as the Judges (18-3-1) recorded a school record 17-match unbeaten streak dating back to the previous season, shared its first University Athletic Association title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. Brandeis senior back and captain Joe Eisenbies of Hingham earned All-Region first team honors from the UAA and Eastern College Athletic Conference.