Westfield State Downs Fitchburg State, 75-69

Valliere paces Falcons with a team-high 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting

WESTFIELD, Mass. (February 19, 2011) – Sophomore Zach Valliere (Douglas, Mass./Douglas) registered a team-high 20 points but Fitchburg State fell to Westfield State University, 75-69 in MASCAC action this afternoon.

With the victory, Westfield State (11-14, 7-5 MASCAC) earns a trip to the MASCAC Tournament, while Fitchburg State (11-12, 5-7 MASCAC) concludes the 2010-11 season with an overall record of 4-19 and a 1-11 mark in the MASCAC.

Valliere paced the Falcons, shooting 8-of-9 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line, while senior Elliot Knower (Baldwinville, Mass./Narragansett) also hit double-figures with 14 points and five boards. Junior Jeremy Kimber (Fitchburg, Mass./Fitchburg) added 11 points, four rebounds and three steals in the loss.

Sophomore Lee Vasquez (Attleboro, Mass./Woonsocket) paced the Westfield State offense, totaling a game-high 24 points, hitting 8-of-16 from the floor, while sophomore Matt Devine (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) added 18 points and four caroms. Senior Jesse Benoit (Granby, Mass./Granby) was also solid, posting a double-double with 12 points and ten rebounds.

The first half was a tight-knit affair with Fitchburg State holding a three point advantage midway through the period following a three by freshman Josh Stambovsky (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) and  a pair of Rolffi Canela (Perth Amboy, N.J./Cardinal McCarrick) free-throws. Westfield State rallied back, grabbing a six point lead at the 5:21 mark and three point advantage at the break.

In the second half, play remained even with neither team posting more than a two basket lead in the opening five minutes. Westfield State extended its lead to seven (52-45) following a dunk by Benoit but Fitchburg State closed the gap to two with another three from Stambovsky. The Owls responded with a 7-2 run sparked by a three by Benoit and later put the game to rest, taking a ten point advantage (75-65) with under a minute to go in the game.

Despite shooting 52.0% from the field in the first half, Fitchburg State finished the contest just 4-of-17 beyond the arc, while Westfield State hit 44.4% from downtown. The Falcons controlled the boards with a 38-35 advantage in rebounds, but Westfield State won the turnover game with a 17-12 margin.

BOX SCORE & PLAY-BY-PLAY TO FOLLOW

Westfield State 75, Fitchburg State 69 

Team

1

2

 

F

Westfield State (11-14, 7-5 MASCAC)

38

37

 

75

Fitchburg State (4-19, 1-11 MASCAC)

35

34

 

69