MEDFORD, Mass. — Kelly Coleman matched her career high with 32 points as the University of New England beat NYU 80-77 Friday night in the opening round of the NCAA Division III women’s basketball tournament.

UNE (27-2) led for most of the game, but NYU (19-6) kept hanging around despite the Nor’easters shooting 51 percent in that first half. Coleman tossed in 16 points in the first half as UNE led 36-32 at the break.

The Violets pulled even at 54-54 with nine minutes to go, but 3-pointers by Meghan Gribbin and Alanna Vose in the next minute and a half put UNE on top 62-54.

UNE center Alicia Brown blocked three shots in the second half, and the Nor’easters led 69-60 with five minutes remaining. Kaitlyn Read brought NYU back with a pair of quick hoops, but the Violets never did find a way to stop Coleman, whose nifty up-and-under move produced a three-point play and a 73-66 margin with three minutes to go.

Coleman added another three-point play after a behind-the-back pass by Gribbin on a fast break to make it 76-68 with 1:24 left.

UNE will play Tufts on Saturday night.

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