SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Senior Kaitlyn Berkel (Waterford, Conn.) scored her 1,000th career point on Monday afternoon as the Lancers came away with a 60-56 win over UC Santa Cruz in non-conference action at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
With the win, the Lancers improve to 8-3 overall on the season, while the Banana Slugs drop to 7-8 overall.
Berkel is the 20th player to join the Worcester State women's basketball 1,000 point club, and the first since teammate Brittany Herring (West Brookfield, Mass.) achieved the feat late last season.
Kate Surprenant (Pelham, N.H.) led all players with nine points in the first half as the teams went to the locker room level at 30-30. The Banana Slugs scored the game's first seven points in the opening minutes before the Lancers ended the early run with a three from sophomore Sam Maglione (Lancaster, Mass.). The rest of the half was played very tightly, with six ties and five lead changes.
Berkel scored on a lay-in on the first possession of the second half to record the milestone. The senior took a feed on the post from Catherine Sweeney (Lowell, Mass.) before laying the ball in with her right hand.
The game remained tight throughout the second half. Tied at 52 with just under three minutes to play, a 3-pointer from Banana Slug freshman Kaylee Murphy (Eureka, Calif.) put UC Santa Cruz up by three, but it would be all Lancers from there. Herring and Berkel would record back-to-back buckets to put the visitors on top with 1:44 remaining.
Moments later, with the Lancers leading 58-56 and 18 seconds showing on the clock, Berkel delivered the dagger with a lay-in out of a timeout to clinch the victory.
Berkel finished the contest with a game-high 20 points to go along with 10 assists. Herring had a monster game with 17 boards, and completed the double-double with 12 points. Surprenant finished with 14 points, and Maglione with 11 for the Lancers in the win.
Next up for the Lancers, they will open up MASCAC play at Salem State in their first game of 2019 on January 5. Tip-off against the Vikings is set for 3 p.m.