WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester State University men's basketball team knocked off Salem State University by a final score of 85-76 Thursday evening in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference action at John P. Brissette Court.
With the victory, Worcester State moves to 11-11 overall on the season and 7-2 in the MASCAC. Salem State drops to 4-19 overall and 3-7 in MASCAC play.
Worcester State made its first seven shots of the night, including four three-pointers, to take an early 20-10 lead just over five and a half minutes into the contest. Salem State chiseled into the lead the rest of the half as Worcester State's offense cooled off, but the Lancers still held a 43-38 lead headed to the locker room. Worcester State junior Erik Bjorn (Holden, Mass.) recorded 13 first half points to lead all players, while classmate Chris Cardoso (Jamaica Plain, Mass.) had a first half double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Worcester State began to pull away in the early stages of the second half, but a 9-0 Salem State run cut Worcester State's lead back down to just 66-61 with 6:29 to play. Moments later however, Worcester State answered with a 9-0 run of its own to go ahead 80-67 with three minutes remaining and all but putting the contest out of reach. The Vikings were unable to overcome the late deficit as the Lancers locked down their 11th victory of the year.
The Lancers went wire-to-wire in the victory, leading for over 38 and a half minutes in the contest and never trailing. Bjorn and Cardoso each recorded 19 points for the Lancers, with 15 and 13 rebounds respectively for double-doubles. Hakeem Animashuan was the contest's leading scorer with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Viking sophomore Chris MacDonald poured in 19 points of his own. All five Lancer starters reached double figures, with sophomore Corey Olivier (Maynard, Mass.) scoring 16, and brothers Sam Dion (Barre, Mass.) and Tyler Dion (Barre, Mass.) scoring 11 and 10 points respectively.
Next up for Worcester State, the Lancers will travel to MCLA for a late-season league matchup against the Trailblazers on Saturday afternoon.