WORCESTER, Mass. – Despite falling behind by 16 points in the first quarter, the Worcester State women's basketball team made a comeback and defeated the visiting Bridgewater State Bears 70-62 in a Saturday afternoon Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) game inside the Lancer Gymnasium.
With the win, Worcester State advances to 11-12 overall, and 7-3 in the MASCAC. The Bears dip to 10-13 and 5-5 in the conference.
Worcester State's sophomore center Britt Herring (W. Brookfield, Mass.) led all scoring and rebounds with a double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds as she made 11-of-16 (68.8%) from the field. Worcester State's rookie Catherine Sweeney (Lowell, Mass.) marked a career-high double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue and Gold, while Brianna Hackett (Hollis, N.H.) tallied 12 points on two triples, a jumper and four free throw shots. Sophomore forward Kaitlyn Berkel (Waterford, Conn.) helped the offense with a team-high five assists.
For the visitors, Jennie Lindland (Edgartown, Mass.) notched a team-high 19 points, going 7-of-12 (58.3%) from the field with five free throws. Bridgewater's Rhiana Page (Brookline, Mass.) also made seven shots as she tallied 14 points and a team-high six rebounds. Also scoring in double-digits for the Bears was Sara DaSilva (Chelmsford, Mass.) with 10 points.
Bridgewater State began the game with a 2-0 advantage on a pair of free throws from Chelsea Saucier (Portland, Me.) following a Worcester State technical. From there, the Bears ran the score up and claimed a 16-point lead, ahead 20-4, five minutes into the frame. It wasn't until 2:05 remaining in the first that they saw the largest lead of the game (18) following a jumper from Lindland who scored 14 points just in the first stanza.
The Lancers rebutted toward the end of the first and started a 9-0 run into the second quarter to trim the visitors lead to just nine. Bridgewater State didn't see their first point of the second quarter until three minutes in when Stephanie DeSantis (Walpole, Mass.) made a layup. Worcester State saw a second wind following that, going on a 9-0 run on buckets from Herring, Hackett, and Sweeney. The Bears held their lead for another minute until Herring tied the score up at 33-33 on an and-one with 2:47 to go. Worcester State continued to score and went into the intermission ahead 40-33.
Worcester State kept a slim lead on the visitors throughout the third period and saw their largest lead of the game (14) with 4:44 to go in the third. The Bears then ignited an 8-0 run on six free throws and a layup from Page to go into the fourth behind by six (49-43).
Bridgewater State's Megan Ianiro (Ashland, Mass.) began the fourth quarter with a layup to cut the Bears' deficit to four, however, Worcester State responded with a 9-2 run to put them ahead by 11. Worcester State would keep a slim lead on the hosts throughout the remainder of the game, which resulted in the 70-62 win for the Lancers.
The Lancers marked a 48.2% field goal percentage throughout the entirety of the game, while the Bears shot 32.4% overall as a team. However, the Bears made 15-of-17 (88.2%) free throw shots, while the Lancers struggled only making 14-of-27 (51.9%).
The Lancers resume MASCAC play on Wednesday (Feb. 15) when they host Framingham State on Senior Day in a 7:30 p.m. matchup before concluding the regular season on Saturday (Feb. 18) at Westfield State. Bridgewater State travels to Westfield State on Wednesday before wrapping up the regular season at home on Saturday against MCLA.