Fitchburg State Out Shoots Westfield State, 90-74
Five Falcons record double-figures in final regular season home contest
FITCHBURG, Mass. (February 18, 2012) – Sophomore Brandon Selby (Baltimore, Md./Joppatowne) paved the way for Fitchburg State with 23 points as the Falcons men's basketball team defeated Westfield State, 90-74 this afternoon.
With the victory, Fitchburg State (13-11, 4-8 MASCAC) advances to the MASCAC playoffs earning the sixth-seed, while Westfield State (15-10, 7-5 MASCAC) claims the third-seed for the tournament. The Falcons and Owls will meet again next Tuesday in the MASCAC quarterfinals.
Selby led a string of five Falcons in double-digits, shooting 9-of-14 from the floor and 4-of-6 from free-throw line, while classmate Mike Ingram-Rubin (Boston, Mass./Bedford) finished with 21 points, hitting 4-of-7 from downtown. Senior Donald Hunt (Winchendon, Mass./Murdock) was also solid with 12 points (5-of-10 FG), while juniors Zach Valliere (Douglas, Mass./Douglas) and Tom Henneberry (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) finished with 11 points apiece.
Westfield State received a strong performance from freshman Grant Cooper (Northampton, Mass./Northampton), who led the Owls with 19 points and eight rebounds, while junior Lee Vasquez (Attleboro, Mass./Woonsocket) added 18 points, including 17 in the second half. Junior Ryan White (Philadelphia, Pa./Franklin Learning) rounded out Westfield's top three scorers with 14 points and eight boards.
In the first half, Fitchburg State exploded for 56 points to post a commanding 56-34 lead at the break. The Falcons opened the contest on a tear, rifling off nine straight points in the first two minutes play, while also adding a 13-3 run midway through the period to increase their margin to 17 (35-18).
Fitchburg State maintained its pace for a majority of the first half, shooting 52.9% from the field and 8-of-14 from downtown. The Falcons closed the period with a 9-2 run to gain their 22 point advantage at the half.
In the second half, Westfield State made a bit of a run, bringing its deficit to only ten (78-68) with 7:35 remaining, but an injury to Vasquez kept the MASCAC's leading scorer sidelined and Fitchburg State took advantage. The Falcons regained their post with an 89-73 advantage following a Henneberry three and a pair of Ingram-Rubin free-throws before closing the game with a free-throw from Valliere.
For the game, Fitchburg State shot well, hitting 43.5% from the field and 45.8% from three point range, while Westfield State was limited to just 3-of-11 from behind the arc. The Falcons dominated the boards with a 45-35 advantage and also cashed in on 19 Owl turnovers to score 28 transition points.