WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State junior forward Jauch Green, Jr. (Cromwell HS/Hartford, Conn) scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Westfield State to an 89-85 win over Worcester State in the final MASCAC regular-season game for both teams at the Woodward Center on Saturday afternoon.
Westfield improves to 15-10 overall and is 8-4 in the MASCAC. The Owls secure the number 2 seed in the conference tournament and earn a first-round bye, and will host an opponent to be determined on Thursday, February 21 in the semifinals.
Worcester drops to 11-14 overall and 4-8 in the MASCAC and winds up as the sixth seed in the league tournament and will play on the road at Fitchburg State on Tuesday.
Westfield State celebrated its senior day before the game, recognizing basketball seniors Dan Lanoue and Marcus Collins before the game, along with senior cheerleaders Jillian Fiore, Kayla Gonzales, and Madison Kaplan.
Westfield got off to a rocky start, and trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half, before chipping away late in the half to trail the Lancers 38-34 at the break.
The Owls finally grabbed their first lead, 41-40 on a Christopher Prophet three pointer with 16 minutes to play, then grabbed the lead for good with a Justin Rennis (Sabis/Springfield, Mass.) layup with just over 10 minutes left in the game, 55-53.
The Owls led by as many as 10 with 3:39 to play, but the Lancers had one charge left, trimming the lead down to two, 87-85 on a Chris Cardoso (Natick/Jamaica Plain, Mass.) free throw with 14 seconds left, but Green iced a pair of late free throws to give Westfield the final margin.
Sophomore guard Christopher Prophet (Central/Springfield, Mass.) finished with 19 points and dished out eight assists for the Owls, and Marcus Collins (Ringde and Latin/Cambridge, Mass.) added 15 points and nine caroms.
The Lancers got 33 points from Cardoso, who finished 10-14 shooting and 4-7 from three point range. Frantz Francois (Boston English/Boston, Mass.) added 10 points and 13 rebounds, and Emeka Egwatu (Abby Kelley/Worcester, Mass.) added 14 points off the bench.