WORCESTER, Mass.—The Worcester State University men's basketball team had four players who scored in double digits, leading the Lancers to a 69-65 victory over the Bridgewater State Bears in a Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) matchup Saturday afternoon at the Lancer Gymnasium.
With the win, the Lancers improve to 7-16 overall and 5-5 in conference play, while the Bears slide to 13-10 overall and 6-4 in the MASCAC.
Worcester State's senior guard Aaron Anniballi (Milford, Mass.) led the Lancers with 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists, while teammate Cal Howes (Maynard, Mass.) contributed 15 points. Also scoring double digits for the Lancers was Jeremy Bacon (Milford, Mass.) with 13 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists. Senior center Paul Brooks (Arlington, Mass.) marked a double-double of 12 points and crashed 10 boards.
Bridgewater's offense was led by senior guard Keyon Armstrong (Brockton, Mass.) who managed 17 points. Also scoring double digits for the Bears was Rocky DeAndrade (Mansfield, Mass.) who scored 15 points to go along with three assists and two steals. Senior guard Patrick McGuinness (New City, NY) also pitched in 14 points, nine of which he scored in the second half, and a team-high of six rebounds.
Early in the first half, the game went back and forth as the Lancers and the Bears tied twice in the first three minutes of play. However, an and-one from Bacon put the Lancers ahead 7-4 just four minutes into the game, from where the Lancers would never looked back.
The Bears chipped away at the Lancers' lead as they went on a 9-4 run in the final five minutes of the first half, narrowing the Lancers' lead to 39-32 at the close of the half.
The Bears came out strong in the second half, making a 6-0 run, as the Lancer's lead dwindled to just two points at the 17:25 mark. However, two back-to-back three-point shots by Anniballi put the Lancers ahead by eight points at the 16:30 mark.
With 11 minutes remaining in the game, a three-pointer by Bridgewater's Armstrong narrowed the Lancers' lead to just two points, which Worcester State quickly increased to seven following a three-point shot from Howes and a bucket from Brooks.
With just 1:31 remaining in the game, all points were left to free-throw shots, as both teams had reached the team limit for fouls. Bridgewater State capitalized on Lancer fouls, as the Bears managed six free-throw points, tightening the gap to just two. However, the Lancers were given the last opportunity, netting two more free-throws with only four seconds remaining to end the game with a final score of 69-65.
Worcester State netted 28-of-65 (43.1%) shots from the field throughout the game and went 7-for-10 from the line. The Bears finished shooting 20-of-49 (40.8%) from the field, 41.2% (7-of-17) from beyond the arc, and 85.7% (18-of-21) on the line. Worcester State controlled the boards, out-rebounding the Bears 41-29.
Worcester State will have their senior night on Wednesday, February 15th as they host Framingham State in a 5:30 p.m. MASCAC match-up. Bridgewater State will travel to Westfield State on the same day for a 5:30 p.m. game.