WESTFIELD, Mass. – Malik Pouncy (Springfield Commonwealth Academy/Mattapan, Mass.) drilled a three-pointer with seven seconds left in regulation to lift Westfield State University to a 94-93 win over league-leading Salem State in a MASCAC game at the Twohig Gymnasium in Salem on Saturday.
Pouncy's triple turned a 93-91 deficit into an Owls lead, and Westfield survived a pair of late Salem three point tries to secure the win. Westfield improves to 13-10 overall and 6-4 in the MASCAC and holds onto second place in the league standings. Salem is now 15-9 and 9-2 in the conference.
The game was nothing less than wild. The two teams combined for nine technical fouls, and three players fouled out. Salem led 57-47 at the half, and extended that lead to as many as 17, 86-69 after and Evan Mason layup with 7:03 to play.
The Vikings opened the door for Westfield with a series of fouls and technical fouls with 6:06 left in the game, that led to six straight free throws for the Owls. Vawn Lord (West Springfield/Amherst, Mass.) made 3 of 4 and Marcus Collins (Rindge and Latin/Cambridge, Mass.) drained two to trim the lead to 86-78 and lit the fuse for the Westfield comeback.
Westfield trimmed the lead to three with three minutes to play on a Collins layup, then tied the game at 91-all as Collins went 1-2 from the line with 46 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, Salem standout guard Sean Bryan hit a pair free throws with 27 seconds left.
After an Owls timeout, Pouncy popped off a screen and Moody Bey (Monson/Springfield, Mass.) delivered the pass for what proved to be the game-winning shot.
Pouncy finished with 19 points. Lord led the Owls with 20. Jauch Green Jr. (Cromwell/Hartford, Conn.) the Owls leading scorer, fouled out with eight minutes left in the game with 16 points. Five Owl players finished with double figures in scoring in a balanced attack.
Bryan led the Vikings with 41 points. 6-7 Salem State center Hakeem Animashaun fouled out with six minutes left in regulation with 19 points and 14 rebounds.