West Hartford, Conn. – The Fitchburg State University women's basketball team snapped a 30-game winless streak with a hard fought 89-81 victory over the University of Saint Joseph (CT) in open round action of the USJ Tip-Off Tournament on Friday evening. Green and Gold head coach Dan Nagle notched his first collegiate victory with the win.
The Falcons improve to 1-1 overall, while USJ drops to 1-1 on the year.
Fitchburg State jumped out to an early 13-2 lead to start off the contest, taking advantage of multiple early turnovers by the BlueJays. However, USJ battled back, a three-point play from Rajeen Mayo with 4:09 left in the second frame gave USJ their first lead of the game 31-30.
The Falcons rebounded closing out the half with a 16-9 run, including 8 points from Rose, four points from Katelynn Rizzuto and a pair of 3-pointers from Rivera and Melissa Guglielmello to regain the lead 46-40 heading into the locker room.
The hosts opened the second half outscoring the Falcons 7-1 and leveled the score 47-47 in just over ninety seconds. The Falcons responded with back-to-back three pointers from Thomson and senior Briana Pelton to end any threat of a comeback attempt.
Midway through the fourth quarter Fitchburg capped off a 6-0 run with a Riviera layup for their largest lead of the game (83-69) en route to the 89-81 final.
Overall, Fitchburg State shot 43.1% (31-72) from the floor, while the Bluejays went 30-63 (47.6%) from the hardwood. The Falcons held the 45-35 edge in rebounds, and 31-22 differential in points off of turnovers.
The Falcons will face Wellesley in the Championship match at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.