Hartford's dynamic backcourt of Austin Williams (20 points) and Traci Carter (16) led the way. The Hawks (15-8) reached last year's final only to see the game cancelled due to COVID-19.
Obadiah Noel led UMass-Lowell (11-12) with 15 points and Kalil Thomas had 11 as the River Hawks shot just 29.5 percent from the field playing in their first conference championship game.
After spotting UMass Lowell the first two points of the game, Hartford went on a 10-0 run to take an early 10-2 lead. The Riverhawks responded with a 9-0 run to take the lead at 11-10 with eight minutes left in the first half as Thomas had five of those nine points.
Another Hartford run, this time a 7-0 spurt, regained the lead for them in the closing stages of the opening half and they would take a 23-18 lead at the break, but the River Hawks were back in front 26-25 when Connor Withers sank a three-pointer.
The game continued to be close as both teams chased that elusive first NCAA bid and was tied at 31 before Carter hit back-to-back jumpers to cap a 7-1 run that saw the Hawks go back in front 38-32. UMass-Lowell would continue to chip away and was within a basket on four separate occasions.
However, Hartford went on a game-changing 10-0 run that made it 52-39 and they coasted down the stretch to clinch their first conference championship and head to March Madness.
Following the game, Hawks coach John Gallagher shared his postgame thoughts, saying "four best years in school history. They were ready to fire me four years ago and rightfully so. Wasn't getting it done. Then we just buckled down. I think the biggest thing for us is that it felt like the season never ended last year. We were on a mission."
Carter also shared his thoughts, stating "we knew coming into this game it was going to be a dogfight until the end. We're the first in history to do this. They made runs every time we went up five. Until the last four minutes, they didn't make a run.
"It was all about us being able to withstand their runs. We did. We kept our composure and came out on top. It means everything to get this championship."