SALEM, Mass. - Lucy Barrett (Williamstown, Mass.) posted 20 points to help lead the Westfield State Owls past the Salem State Vikings 86-81 at Twohig Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon. The Owls rise to 14-9 on the season and 8-2 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). Salem State dips to 5-18 on the regular season and 3-8 in the MASCAC.
It was "Senior Day" for the Vikings' Kia Fernandes (Wareham, Mass.), Tyra Scott (Methuen, Mass.) and Kate McDonnell (Swansea, Mass.), who were recognized for the commitment and dedication to the program by head coach Bobby Verdun.
In the first quarter, Fernandes blocked Cayla Durkee's (Georgetown, Mass.) shot and Scott made a free-throw line jumper in transition for an early Salem State lead.
The Vikings shot 92.3% from the field in the first quarter as they were able to get easy buckets inside as Courtney Paschal (Waltham, Mass.) scored her sixth point in the first quarter giving Salem State a 16-9 advantage with 4:08 remaining.
However, the Owls went on a 10-0 run with 0:51 left in the first quarter and into the second by forcing turnovers and hitting shots from behind the arc. Kierra McCarthy (Ludlow, Mass.) paced the Owls with six of those points.
Westfield State took their first lead at 4:01 of the second as Madison Gutierrez (Holyoke, Mass.) was left wide open for a three, putting the Owls ahead 33-31.
Westfield State went into halftime with a 40-38 lead. The Owls' defense forced 18 turnovers capitalizing by scoring 15 points off those turnovers.
Salem State shot 63% (FG 17-27) from the field while Westfield shot 38.6% (FG 17-44) from the floor.
In the third quarter, the Owls were able to gain a little separation hitting five threes. Westfield State went on top 67-53 as Isabella Aitken (Pittsfield, Mass.) nailed a three-pointer to give the Owls their largest lead of the game.
The Vikings held Westfield State scoreless in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as Salem State went on an 8-0 run.
Natalie Mellinger (Beverly, Mass.) hit a three and the Owls lead was cut to 82-78 with 0:32 remaining. Time wasn't on the Vikings side as Barrett converted four free throws to hold off the Vikings' rally.
For the game, the Owls shot 36.4% (FG 32-88) from the floor and Salem State's field goal percentage was 54% (FG 34-63).
The difference maker was the Vikings committing 36 turnovers which put them out of position to win. Westfield State pressed all game and scored 36 points off turnovers.
The Owls' McCarthy tallied 19 points (FG 7-15, 3PT 4-7) and came up with four steals.
Fernandes controlled the glass and the paint recording 30 points (FG 13-18) with a career-tying 21 rebounds and four blocks. Scott scored 14 points (FG 6-12), had seven assists and eight rebounds.
Salem State will face MCLA on the road for their last game of the regular season on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m
-- story courtesy Salem State sports info