Advance to MASCAC Semifinals vs. #1 Salem State
Fitchburg, Mass. – Sophomore Tyrell St. John (Stamford, Conn) poured in a game-high 20 points to lead the Fitchburg State University men's basketball team past the Owls of Westfield State, 67-63, in the quarterfinals of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) tournament on Tuesday night at Parkinson Gymnasium.
Score: Fitchburg State University 67, Westfield State University 63
Records: #4 Fitchburg State (12-14, 6-6 MASCAC) |#5 Westfield State (11-15, 5-7 MASCAC)
How It Happened
After an opening Falcons basket from Nicholas Tracy (Indianapolis, In.), Westfield State never trailed in the first half. The Owls found an offensive rhythm and reeled off five straight points including a pair of 3-point baskets from Peter Mafo (Lynn, Mass.) and Allister Williams (Boston, Mass.) to hold a 10 point lead (13-3) five minutes in. At 9:14, FSU junior Jonathan Perez (Lowell, Mass.) connected from downtown to cut the deficit to 23-17. Tracy would score the last basket of the frame to make the halftime margin 34-30.
After spotting the Owls a 39-30 lead to open the second stanza, the hosts reeled off nine straight points to even the game (39-39) with 16:33 on the clock. Buckets from Josh Bosworth (Springfield, Mass), Anthony Allen (East Longmeadow, Mass.), St. John and a dunk from Tracy led the way for the Falcons comeback. The Owls responded with a jumper from Marcus Collins (Cambridge, Mass.) and a lay-up from Mafo to regain a one point margin (46-45) with eleven minutes to play.
Knotted at 55-55, junior Brandon Harris (San Bernadino, Calif.) would hit a stop-and-pop from beyond the arc to give the Green and Gold the lead for good at the 3:55 mark. A good jumper from the Owls' Williams made it a one-point game (58-57) however, clutch free-throws down the stretch by Fitchburg State led to the 67-63 final.
Inside the Numbers
Tracy had the only double-double of the game with 13 points and 10 boards. Perez and Harris had 15 and 12 points respectively off the bench for the Falcons
Reynolds had a game-high 12 rebounds the Owls, while four players chipped in with double-figures. Mafo finished with a game-high 20 points while Collins had 15 points, Williams with 10 points and sophomore Moody Bey (Springfield, Mass.) chipped in with 11 points off the bench.
Westfield held both the shooting percentage (44.9% to 43.9%) and the rebound advantage (35-30) on the night.
The Falcons will square off at No.1 Salem State on Thursday evening at 7:00pm for the semifinal round. Westfield State has concluded their 2018 campaign with a record of 11-15.