WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State junior forward Jauch Green, Jr. (Cromwell HS/Hartford, Conn.) scored 27 points, including the 1000th of his collegiate career, to lead the Owls to a hard-earned 81-77 win over Framingham State at the Framingham Athletic Center on Wednesday night.
With the win, the Owls improve to 10-6 overall and 3-0 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference. Framingham slips to 2-14 overall and 1-3 in the league.
Green went to work early and often, getting his 1000th on a pull-up jumper early in the first half. He scored 17 points in the opening frame, but after an initial quick start by the Owls, Westfield trailed 40-37 at the intermission.
Both teams had their chances in the second half, as the Rams led by as many as six in the early portion of the second half. Westfield grabbed its first lead of the second half on a layup by Christopher Prophet (Central/Springfield, Mass.) with just under 10 minutes to play.
Leading 68-65 with 3:13 to play, the Owls committed the cardinal sin of fouling the three point shooter, as Manny Payton knocked down a three, and the additional free throw to give Framingham a 69-68 lead.
Westfield amped up its defensive pressure, getting a blocked shot, and then back to back steals on the ensuing Rams possessions, and Westfield built a 77-69 lead on a Moody Bey (Monson/Springfield, Mass.) free throw with 56 seconds left in regulation.
The Rams refused to go quietly, and chipped the lead back down to two points, 79-77 on a Payton three with 1.6 seconds left. Westfield's Prophet knocked down a pair of free throws to provide the final margin.
Payton enjoyed a big game for the Rams with 34 points on 11-25 shooting from the floor and 5-8 from three point range.
Prophet added 18 points for the Owls, and made 7-10 free throws. Westfield struggled from the line early in the contest, and was just 5-14 from the sin stripe at one point, but the Owls connected on 13 of their final 20 tries to help seal the win. Peter Mafo (Classical/Lynn, Mass.) added 13 points.
Green wound up with 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists. He becomes the 23rd man to score his 1,000th NCAA collegiate point in an Owls' uniform. Green scored nearly 700 points in two seasons at Western Connecticut State University before transferring to Westfield this season. He is enjoying a breakout season in the MASCAC, scoring 21.4 points per game for Westfield.
The Owls will be back in action on Saturday, hosting Salem State in what appears to be a huge early-season match-up of two of the top teams in the conference. Tip-off is at noon at the Woodward Center.