Fitchburg, Mass. – Despite a game-high 26 points by junior Jonathan Perez (Lowell, Mass.), the Fitchburg State University Falcons could not contain Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference rival MCLA, falling by a score of 77-64 at the Parkinson gymnasium on Thursday evening.
Score: Fitchburg State University 64, MCLA 77
Records: Fitchburg State (5-10, 1-2 MASCAC) | MCLA (5-9, 2-2 MASCAC)
How It Happened
The Trailblazers had four starters in double-figures and a pair of players with double-doubles. Senior Joseph Wiggins (Pittsfield, Mass.) led the visitors with 16 points, while classmate and Keiland Cross (Pittsfield, Mass.) registered a double-double on 16 points and 10 boards. Senior Adam Conqust (Gardner, Mass.) contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Falcons opened the game strong with four consecutive makes from beyond the arc to hold a 12-7 edge. Five straight points from junior Joshawa Babb (Lynn, Mass.) propelled the hosts to a nine point advantage (26-17) midway through the first stanza. MCLA would cut the deficit to three points (30-27) with a 10-3 run culminating with a trey from Ki-Sawn Monroe (Clifton Park, NY) with five minutes to play. However, the Falcons would outscore the Trailblazers 8-4 down the stretch to hold a 38-31 lead heading into the locker room.
Midway through the second frame with the Falcons clinging to a one point lead 50-49, the MCLA offense erupted for a 14-0 run, to take a 63-50 lead with 6:25 to play. The scoring streak was initiated by four points from Cross. Wiggins put the cap on the run, successfully hitting a pair of baskets and a bucket from the charity stripe.
After Perez knocked down a basket from three-point range to get the Falcons back on track, MCLA answered with a 9-0 to put the game out of reach en-route to the 77-64 final.
Inside the Numbers
MCLA outshot Fitchburg from the field, 44.3% to 36.6%, but the hosts shot better from three-point range 35.5% to 20.8%.
MCLA held the advantage on the glass, (51-40), holding the edge in both offensive (17-14) and defensive rebounds (17-14).
Both teams return to action on Saturday, the Falcons travel to Worcester State University for a 3:00pm tip-off, while MCLA will travel to Fisher for a non-conference game starting at 1:00pm.