MCLA Takes One From Fitchburg State, 80-78

Ingram Rubin notches 1,000th career point in Falcons setback

FITCHBURG, Mass. (February 8, 2014) – Senior Mike Ingram-Rubin (Boston, Mass.) collected his 1,000th career point this afternoon but the Trailblazers of MCLA withstood the heat and held on to an 80-78 victory in MASCAC action at the Recreation Center.

With the victory, MCLA improves to 7-14 on the season and 4-5 in the MASCAC, while Fitchburg State falls to 2-18 overall and 2-7 in conference play.

Ingram-Rubin led the Fitchburg State attack as the senior guard connected for a team-best 23 points en route to his scoring milestone. Sophomore Anthony Muccioli (Nashua, N.H.) was also strong with 20 points and five boards, while junior Lincoln Wright (Brockton, Mass.) added 11 points with 3-of-6 shooting from the floor and 4-of-5 shooting from the charity stripe.

Senior John Jones (Worcester, Mass.) led the Trailblazers with a game-high 25 points, ten rebounds and two assists, while junior Jeremic Bennett (Albany, N.Y.) and senior Ramon Viches (Boston, Mass.) added 14 points apiece. Sophomore Paul Maurice (Boston, Mass.) was also solid for the visitors with 13 points in 16 minutes of work.

After tight first half which witnessed a two point MCLA advantage at the break (34-32), the Trailblazers opened the scoring in the second, taking an 11 point lead by the 14 minute mark. MCLA used 15-6 run over the span, taking advantage of 12 free throw attempts over the first six minutes of the period.

Fitchburg State battled back, cutting the MCLA lead to just three nearly two minutes later. Wright sparked the Falcons with six straight points before freshman Leonny Burgos (Lawrence, Mass.) connected for a huge three pointer to bring the score to 52-49 in favor of the Trailblazers.

MCLA began to pull away again, holding a seven point advantage (65-58) following a Maurice trey at 9:18, but Fitchburg State responded with an 8-0 run to take a 66-65 lead at 7:33. The Falcons increased their lead to four with three free-throws from Wright, but the Trailblazers would not be outdone, regaining the lead with 2:05 remaining (78-77) on a pair of buckets from Jones.

Down the stretch, Fitchburg State had a few opportunities to regain control but downtown shots from Ingram-Rubin and Wright both missed their mark. Forced to foul, Fitchburg State sent Viches to the charity stripe and the veteran guard sank both shots to pushed the Trailblazer lead to three (80-77) with 0:04 remaining in regulation.

On the inbound, the Trailblazers fouled immediately, sending Ingram-Rubin to the line. After draining the first free-throw, an intentional miss found the hands of Bennett and eventually sealed the victory for MCLA.

For the game, Fitchburg State finished 27-of-62 from the field, while MCLA was 23-of-52, including 7-of-21 from downtown. The difference in the contest came at the free-throw line as MCLA notched 38 attempts (27-of-38) opposed to Fitchburg State's 26 opportunities (19-of-26).

Fitchburg State will be back in action on Wednesday as it visits Fisher College at 6:30 p.m.