North Adams, Mass. – The Fitchburg State Men's Basketball team dropped a tough 78-65 decision to the Trailblazers of MCLA this evening in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action from the Amsler Center.
Score: Fitchburg State 65, MCLA 79
Fitchburg State (7-8, 1-1 MASCAC) I MCLA (9-4, 2-0 MASCAC)
How It Happened
Fitchburg State grabbed an early 8-7 edge on back-to-back three pointers from freshman Xavier Betancourt (Tampa, Fla.) and a layup from sophomore Dominik Williams (Newark, N.J.) before MCLA answered with a Ki-Shawn Monroe (Springfield, Mass.) layup for the 9-8 margin.
The Falcons pushed their advantage to 27-20 as freshman Keegan Sharp (Townsend, Mass.) converted an and one, but the Trailblazers answered back to take a 28-27 lead with junior Hayden Bird (Clarksburg, Mass.) registering three free-throws.
MCLA built a 36-31 advantage on a Noah Yearsley (Averill Park, N.Y.) dunk before the Falcons battled back to cut the lead to 37-34 going into the intermission as freshman Trevian Hinson (Tampa, Fla.) hit a buzzer beater.
In the second half, Fitchburg State went on a 13-0 run to open the half, keyed by five points from sophomore Devon Johnson (Washington D.C.) and four by Sharp before MCLA countered with a Bird three-pointer to cut the Falcons lead to 45-40.
The Trailblazers took the lead back as Bird buried a three pointer and Yearsley connected on a jumper for the 49-47 margin. MCLA pushed its margin to 56-48 when freshman Quentin Gittens (Pittsfield, Mass.) netted a bucket.
Trailing 62-50, the Falcons cut into the lead with freshman Toskany Abreu (Beverly, Mass.) and Williams hitting back-to-back three balls, but Bird countered with a jumper for the host to up the lead to 68-57 for MCLA. Johnson and Betancourt would sink free-throws for the Green and Gold before the Trailblazers secured the victory as Yearsley converted one of two from the charity stripe, resulting in the 78-65 final.
Inside the Numbers
- Falcons were paced by Betancourt with a game-best 21 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks
- Williams added 13 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one block for Fitchburg State
- Bird finished with a team-leading 16 pionts, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block for the Trailblazers
- Yearsley chipped in with 13 points, three caroms, two assists, one steal and two blocks for MCLA
- 105th meeting between Fitchburg State and MCLA on the court with the Falcons 48-57 all-time vs. the Trailblazers
- Fitchburg State shot 22-for-63 (34.9%) from the field and (6-of-17) 35.3% from three point range
- MCLA finished 28-of-62 (45.2%) overall and (6-for-21) 28.6% for beyond the arc
- Falcons held a narrow 43-41 margin on the boards
Falcons will travel to Westfield State on Thursday to take on the Owls for a MASCAC matchup, starting at 7:30 PM. Trailblazers will host the Vikings of Salem State on the same date for a conference tilt at 7:30 PM.