WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State senior guard Jill Valley (Orange, Mass.) celebrated her senior day in style, springing for a school record 52 points in leading the Owls to a 102-82 win over Worcester State in the final regular-season game of the 2016-17 season at the Woodward Center on Saturday afternoon.
Valley shot 19-27 from the floor, 2-5 from three-point range, and 12-14 from the line. She grabbed eight steals, six rebounds and handed out three assists.
The 52 points is an NCAA Division III women's basketball season high, as well as a MASCAC record. It breaks a 42-year old school record, set by Dorothy Rickus against Jackson College in 1975.
Westfield led 50-37 at the half, but Worcester ground the Owls lead down to 72-64 entering the fourth quarter, and the Lancers chipped the lead down to as few as five points on two occasions, the last at 79-74 on a Britt Herring (W. Brookfield, Mass.) layup with 6:30 to play.
Valley exploded in the fourth quarter, connecting on all eight of her shots from the floor and 3-3 at the foul line is scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter alone.
The Owls closed the game with a 23-5 scoring run.
Valley scored more than half the Owls' points. She was joined in double-figures by Rebecca Sapouckey (Chicopee, Mass.) with 10 points and six rebounds, and Kierra McCarthy (Ludlow, Mass.) added 10 points and five rebounds with four steals.
Worcester State is now 12-13 overall and 8-4 in the MASCAC. Worcester brought a five-game winning streak into the game; the last time the Lancers lost was a 96-91 decision to the Owls in Worcester on Jan. 25.
Westfield clinched the 2016 MASCAC regular season championship. The Owls have won three straight and earned at least a share of the MASCAC title in each of the last four seasons, and will be the top seed in the upcoming MASCAC tournament with a 17-8 overall record and a 11-1 mark in the league.
With the results Westfield State will be the top seed in the upcoming MASCAC tournament. The Owls will face host the winner of Tuesday's #4 Bridgewater vs. #5 Salem State first round game in the conference semifinals at the Woodward Center on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. Worcester State notches the #3 seed and will host #6 MCLA Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m.
Release Courtesy of Westfield State Sports Information