WORCESTER, Mass. – The Worcester State University women's basketball team snapped Framingham State's eight-game winning streak as they downed the Rams 62-55 in an exciting Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) thriller Wednesday evening on the Lancers' senior night inside the Lancer Gymnasium.
"Framingham State is a great team and this was a huge win for us," commented head coach Karen Tessmer. "We stuck with the game plan and made some big baskets at the right time."
With the win, the Lancers advance to 12-12 and 8-3 in the MASCAC. The Rams slip to 19-4 and 9-4 in conference play.
The Lancers started out fierce as they outscored the Rams 19-8 in the first quarter. Following one tie 6:26 into the first, Worcester Sate went on a 6-0 run on buckets from Catherine Sweeney (Lowell, Mass.) and Kaitlyn Berkel (Waterford, Conn.) The visitors reacted with a good free throw shot from Alycia Rackliffe (Feeding Hills, Mass.) and a triple from Raegan Mulherin (Baldwinville, Mass.) to cut the Lancers' lead to just two. However, Worcester State ended the first frame with an 11-2 run to lead by 11 going into the second.
The Rams began the second quarter with a 7-3 run to cut the deficit to just seven. However, Worcester State rallied back and held their lead to about eight throughout the remainder of the stanza to go into the half ahead 33-24.
Framingham State made the game interesting halfway through the third quarter when they tied the game up at 33-33 on a free throw from Mulherin. The Rams took their first lead of the game just 25 seconds later when Monta Connolly (Lynn, Mass.) stole the ball and scored in the paint. The Rams stayed ahead or tied throughout the remainder of the frame.
Going into the fourth quarter tied at 42-42 the Rams claimed a quick 4-point advantage on layups from Sarah Palace (Auburn, Mass.) and Quinn O'Connell (Sterling, Mass.). Framingham State retained the lead until Worcester State took their first lead since the third on a duo free throws from Berkel. The game saw one more tie until Emily Carens (Northboro, Mass.) netted two free throws with 5:56 remaining to take the Lancers' final lead. Worcester State held a slim margin until they ended the game with a bucket from Berkel and made 3-of-4 free throws from the charity stripe (62-55).
"We came back with a strong fourth quarter," said Tessmer. "Overall, defense was key to the victory as we held Framingham to just 55 points."
Framingham State's Rackliffe and Mulherin led all scoring with 17 points apiece. Rackliffe crashed 10 boards and registered a game-high six blocks.
Worcester State's Berkel led the Blue and Gold's scoring with 16 points, while sophomore center Britt Herring (W. Brookfield, Mass) notched a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Brianna Hackett (Hollis, N.H.) and Sweeney chipped in 11 and eight points, respectively. Kate Surprenant (Pelham, N.H.) piloted the offense with a game-high five assists.
Both teams shot 37% from the field throughout the entirety of the game, however Framingham State struggled from the free throw line throughout the game as they only made 4-of-12 (33.3%).
Prior to the game, the women's basketball team recognized its two seniors, #3 TaNajia "Tech" Smith (S. Windsor, Conn.) and #40 Bianca Langford (Worcester, Mass.).
Both teams conclude the regular season on Saturday as Worcester State travels to Westfield State, and Framingham State travels to Fitchburg State.