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Fitchburg State Knocked Off 102-83 at First-Place Salem State

Fitchburg State Knocked Off 102-83 at First-Place Salem State

SALEM, Mass. - The Fitchburg State men's basketball team absorbed a 102-83 loss at MASCAC rival Salem State on Saturday afternoon. Marcus Faison (Cambridge, Mass.) recorded his seventh-straight double-double, scoring 25 points and 11 rebounds, and the Vikings received 43 points off the bench. Salem State won for the sixth straight time to improve to 12-7 while remaining unbeaten in the MASCAC at 6-0. The Falcons slide to 10-8 and 3-2 in conference.

Shaquan Murray (Boston, Mass.) added 20 points and five steals while Jacob Lindland (Hamilton, Mass.) and Shyheim Davis (Boston, Mass.) combined for 34 points off the bench for Salem State. Lindland went 6-8 (.075%) from the field, including 4-6 from three-point range and Davis shot 7-9 (.078%) from he floor and added five rebounds.

Fitchburg State was led by Jaleel Bell's (Dorchester, Mass.) 20 points and Leonny Burgos (Lawrence, Mass.), who added 11. Josh Bosworth (Springfield, Mass.) and Givaughn Jones (Dorchester Mass.) each had 10 points for the Falcons, who allowed 37 points off turnovers.

Faison led all scorers in the first half with 16 points and nine rebounds. The Vikings shot a blistering (21-34) 61.8% from the field and they forced 15 Fitchburg State turnovers while scoring 30 points in the paint. Faison hit back-to-back layups to stake the Vikings to a 17-9 lead early. Following a layup by Bell, Salem State wet on a 7-0 run as Lindland and Zach Hurynowicz (Burlington, Mass.) converted consecutive three point plays. Salem State increased their lead to 18 on two free throws by Murray, 34-16 with 6:56 remaining. The Falcons steadily crept back in, as they went on their own 10-0 run to draw within eight at 34-26. Back-to-back layups by Troy Dacosta (Cambridge, Mass.) spearheaded the surge, and a bucket by Burgos put the Rams behind 34-26. However, Lindland connected on two three pointers and Faison added a basket to quickly build the lead back to 14 as Salem State ended the half on an 18-6 run to lead 52-34 at the half.

Burgos and Bell, each tallied eight points for Fitchburg State, which shot (14-32) 43.8% from the floor in the first half.

Trailing by 16, the Falcons stormed back, and cut the deficit to nine, 52-43 in the opening minutes of the second half scoring on four consecutive possessions, highlighted by a Bell three. Once again the Vikings answered as Davis scored six quick points and Murray added three and the lead ballooned back to 15, 60-45 with 16:21 remaining. The Vikings increased the margin to as high as 25, forcing 12 second half turnovers, despite Fitchburg State shooting 19-29 (65.5%) from the field in the second half. Salem State kept the huge advantage for the remainder of the second half, with the lead hovering around 20 for the remainder of the game. Drew Healy (Lowell, Mass.) added a dunk and an-one to push the lead to 90-70, before the Vikings settled for the 102-83 victory.

Salem State travels to Framingham State on Saturday, January 30th for a 3:00 PM scheduled start. Fitchburg State hosts the Rams on Wednesday at 7:00 PM. (Recap courtesy of Salem State Sports Information)