Former Canton High hoop star tops 1,000 at UMass Dartmouth
As Colleen Moriarty closed in on 1,000 career points at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, coach Amanda Van Voorhis studied the schedule to see if the 6-foot-1 senior could hit the milestone during a home game.
Moriarty entered a Jan. 26 matchup against visiting Plymouth State 33 points shy. The next game, against Mount Ida, was in Newton, followed by a home game against Lyndon State.
She had no intention of delaying the process. A 2009 graduate of Canton High, Moriarty had 16 points by the half as the Corsairs built a 20-point cushion over Plymouth State.
“She came in at halftime and said she was going for it,” said Van Voorhis. “I said as long as you are taking good shots and you aren’t forcing anything. She quickly got up over 20 points and you could tell she felt it. The kids did everything they could to get her the ball.”
Moriarty reached the milestone on a free throw with just under seven minutes remaining. She finished the game, a 76-39 victory, with a career-high 35 points on 13-of-18 shooting while collecting 11 rebounds.
“We called a timeout to stop the game and the place went nuts,” said Van Voorhis.
“My teammates were definitely feeling it and everyone was looking for me,” said Moriarty. “My guards just kept looking to feed me down low. It was really exciting to see my teammates, the coaches, and the fans be so excited for me.”
The 35-point outburst triggered a scoring binge for Moriarty, who does most of her offensive work on the low post. She followed up that with a 30-point, 10-rebound effort in a 93-54 win over Mt. Ida, and poured in 31 points in UMD’s 74-48 loss at Western Connecticut on Saturday.
Averaging a team-high 19 points, along with 8.4 rebounds per game, she also leads the Corsairs in blocked shots (41) and has been named Player of the Week in the Little East Conference two weeks in a row.
“She’s been a real force the last couple of weeks,” said Van Voorhis. “We’ve seen opponents double- and even triple-team her and we’ve seen them run the zone to try and limit her touches inside, but nobody has an answer for her.”
Van Voorhis is sure Moriarty would have reached 1,000 rebounds if injuries had not limited her playing time. Moriarty missed the last two games of her junior season with a broken wrist, including a loss to Western Conn. in the first round of the Little East Conference playoffs.
As a sophomore, Moriarty was limited to 15 games because of a concussion and a knee injury.
“We just tried to keep her healthy through 25 games this season,” said Van Voorhis. “If she had played four full seasons she’d have put up incredible numbers. This type of thing happens to seniors. Something comes over them and they shine, knowing their time is coming to an end.”
Moriarty, a business marketing major, would like to remain close to the game after graduation, possibly as a coach. For now, her focus is on helping the Corsairs (15-6 overall, 5-5 LEC) earn a home game in the conference playoffs.
“This is definitely the best season we’ve had since I’ve been here, but we want to finish strong and get a good seeding in the playoffs,” said Moriarty. “It really hit me [Saturday] at Western Connecticut, because we lost our playoff game there last year and I was out with a broken wrist. We definitely want to get that home playoff.”
UMD will miss her scoring touch next season, but the loss will be buffered by the return of 6-foot-2 forward Erika Bornemann, also from Canton. Bornemann (11.5 points, team-leading 8.9 rebounds per game) is expected to join Moriarty in the 1,000-point club early next season, when she’ll likely record her 1,000th rebound as well.
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