Perez nets double-double of 14 points and 11 boards in key MASCAC victory
Westfield, Mass. – The Fitchburg State University men's basketball team defeated the Owls of Westfield State University, 77-76 this evening in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action at the Woodward Center.
Score: Fitchburg State 77, Westfield State 76
Records: Fitchburg State (10-14, 5-6 MASCAC) | Westfield State (10-14, 4-7 MASCAC)
How It Happened
Westfield State opened the contest on a 7-0 run as Austin Joseph (Rockland, Mass.) and Peter Mafo (Lynn, Mass.) connected on jumpers, while Allister Williams (Boston, Mass.) knocked down a three ball before Fitchburg State cut the lead to 22-11 midway through the frame on layups from junior Nicholas Tracy (Indianapolis, Ind.) and senior Josh Bosworth (Springfield, Mass.) as well as a three-pointer by Tracy.
The Owls extended their margin (41-30) on layup from Mafo and two free-throws by Williams, but the Falcons cut the deficit to 41-36 going into the half as junior Jonathan Perez (Lowell, Mass.) sank a pair from the charity stripe, while Tracy added a jumper at the buzzer.
Following the break, Fitchburg State battled back to take a 55-52 advantage with Bosworth leading the charge with six points, while Tracy added five points to help give the Falcons its first lead of the contest.
Westfield State took the lead back (63-62) on a layup from Williams, but Fitchburg State answered back as Perez sank one of two free-throws, while junior Brandon Harris (San Bernardino, Calif.) added a jumper to give the Green and Gold a 65-63 edge.
The Owls cut the deficit to 75-73 after Williams drained a three-pointer, but the Green and Gold secured the victory as Tracy connected on a pair from the charity stripe, resulting in the 77-76 final.
Inside the Numbers,
110th meeting between the two schools on the basketball court with the Falcons 27-83 all-time when taking on the Owls.
Fitchburg State has won six of the last seven contests against Westfield State, including a 65-63 decision earlier this season (1/23/18) at the Parkinson Gymnasium.
Fitchburg State was led by Tracy with a game-best 23 points and eight rebounds, while Perez finished with a double-double of 14 points and 11 boards.
For Westfield State, Williams registered a team-leading 22 points and six caroms, while Mafo chipped in with 15 points and three rebounds.
Fitchburg State shot 29-for-54 (53.7%) from the field and (3-of-14) 21.4% from beyond the arc.
Westfield State went 26--for-72 (36.1%) overall and (8-of-28) 26.8% from three point range.
The Falcons held a slim 43-40 margin on the boards, while the Owls finished with an 18-13 advantage in assists.
Falcons will host the Bears of Bridgewater State of a MASCAC tilt with a 3:00 P.M. tipoff. Owls will visit Worcester State University on the same date for a conference matchup, starting at 3:00 P.M.