FITCHBURG, Mass. – Senior Jonathan Perez (Lowell, Mass.) poured in a game-high 18 points to lead the Fitchburg State University men's basketball team past the Lancers of Worcester State, 67-55, in the quarterfinals of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) tournament on Tuesday night at Parkinson Gymnasium.
With the loss, the Lancers see their season come to an end with a record of 11-15.
The Falcons opened the game with an offensive rhythm and reeled off nine straight points including a 3-point baskets from junior Andre Ruff (Chicago, Ill.) and ) and a good tip-in from senior Anselm Edegbe (Benin, Nigeria) to hold an 11-3 advantage with 12 minutes to play. The Lancers battled back to notch the game at 15-15 capped by back-to-back treys from junior Cal Howes (Maynard, Mass.) and sophomore Joe Desormier (Granby, Mass.). The Green and Gold answered with an 11-4 run, including five points from freshman Tayjaun McKenzie (Lynn, Mass.) to push the lead to 29-19. Worcester's junior Tyler Dion (Barre, Mass.) tallied the last basket of the frame to make the halftime margin 29-23.
FSU's Perez opened the second half with the rare 4-point play to extend the hosts lead to 33-23. However, the Lancers would re-group reeling off eight straight to cut the deficit to a basket (33-31). Dion opened the streak with a bucket from beyond-the-arc and sophomore Chris Cardoso(Jamaica Plain, Mass.) finished with one from the charity strip for the visitors.
The Falcons countered with a 15-0 run closed out with six points from Perez to give the Falcons a comfortable lead 50-33 with 9:26 to play. A good jumper from the Lancers' Cardoso closed the gap to 59-49 with three minutes remaining. Fitchburg State sealed the victory with free-throws down the stretch for the 62-49 victory.
Fitchburg State was led by Perez with a game-best 18 points and seven rebounds, while Ruff added 13 points and 6 caroms. Junior Nicholas Tracy (Indianapolis, In.) added 11 points and seven boards. For Worcester State, sophomore Eric Bjorn (Holden, Mass.) posted a team-leading 15 points and eight caroms, while Dion and Cardoso added 12 points apiece.
Release courtesy of Fitchburg State Sports Information.