Three Falcons score double-figures in the conference victory
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - The visiting Fitchburg State University men's basketball team received 18 points and seven rebounds from Givaughn Jones and they held off the MCLA Trailblazers 70-68 Saturday afternoon in a key matchup of Massachusetts State Collegiate Conference (MASCAC) rivals. The Falcons sweep the season series and are now 14-7 overall, 6-3 in the conference. MCLA drops to 7-14 overall and is 4-5 in the league.
MCLA controlled the first half and led by nine points at 44-35 with just under 15 minutes remaining before the Falcons turned the tide. Fitchburg State immediately went on an 11-0 run over the next five minutes to grab their first lead of the half at 46-44 following a Kwame Lee jumper. MCLA responded with a triple from Paul Maurice to regain the lead, however it was the last time the Trialblazers would be in front.
Another Lee bucket made it 48-47 Falcons and Keyon Armstrong followed with a pull up jumper for a 50-47 lead with 9:11 to go. MCLA answered on an Adam Conquest basket, however Fitchburg State then used another 11-0 run to put the some room between them as they went ahead 61-49 with 5:55 left.
A minute later with the score at 65-55, MCLA made one last run at the Falcons. MCLA went on a 6-0 run capped by Maurice's free throws to pull within four at 65-61. FSU's Jones would get a friendly carom on the next possession as the shot clock was expiring putting the Falcons up 67-61 with just over two to play.
MCLA once again answered as Khalil Paul drained a three from the corner and the Trailblazers were back in it down just 67-64. MCLA got a blocked shot from Dakari Hannah-Wornum on the defensive end giving them possession with a chance to tie, however Ruben DelRosario's three was short giving FSU the ball with 44 seconds left.
Trying to run out the clock, Fitchburg State turned it over with under 20 seconds to play and Maurice went in all alone as his layup cut it to 67-66 with 14 ticks left. Anthony Muccioli was fouled on the inbounds and made one of two at the line to extend the FSU lead to two, but MCLA's DelRosario once again came up short and the Trailblazers had to foul again.
Armstrong drained both free throws to ice the win for Fitchburg State and the sweep of the Trailblazers.
Jones went 5-9 from the floor for the Green & Gold. He was joined in double figures by Lee and Armstrong, who each had 12 points in the winning effort. The Falcons shot 55% in the win, overcoming 27 turnovers in the process.
Maurice went 8-21 from the field, including 6-13 from beyond the arc for his 24 point effort. DelRosario was the only other Trailblazer in double figures ending with 10 points. Anthony Barbosa added a game best 7 assists off the bench for MCLA. The Trailblazers shot just 34% in the contest.
MCLA attempted 34 more field goals than the Falcons in the loss, however Fitchburg State owned a decided advantage at the free throw line. The Falcons went 23-34 from the stripe while MCLA was just 9-20.
The Falcons will be back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 10 as they travel to Tufts University in a non-conference tilt at 7:00pm.
Parts of release courtesy of MCLA sports information