BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Worcester State University men's basketball team earned a share of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship for the first time in 20 years with an 85-78 victory over Bridgewater State University Saturday afternoon at the Tinsley Center.
Worcester State improves to 14-11 on the season with a 10-2 conference mark. The Bears fall to 10-14 overall and 7-5 in MASCAC play.
The Lancers earn the #2 seed in next week's MASCAC Tournament and have an opening round bye. They will play the winner of the Tuesday quarterfinal between MCLA and Fitchburg State on Thursday evening at John P. Brissette Court. Bridgewater is seeded fourth and will host #5 Salem State University in a quarterfinal matchup on Tuesday night at 7:30.
All five starters scored for Worcester State led by senior guard Tyler Dion (Barre, Mass.) who tallied 24 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Dion went 6-for-13 from behind the arc and 6-for-6 at the free throw line.
Freshman guard Sam Dion (Barre, Mass.) added 18 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Lancers, while junior Erik Bjorn (Holden, Mass.) posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Corey Olivier (Maynard, Mass.) checked in with 12 points, four rebounds, and five assists, and junior guard Chris Cardoso (Jamaica Plain, Mass.) contributed ten points, nine boards, three assists and three steals.
St. Louis paced Bridgewater State with a game-high 25 points to go along with nine rebounds and two blocked shots, while Carney added 22 points, nine boards and five assists. St. Louis and Carney combined to go 8-for-18 from behind the arc. Ward recorded his tenth double-double of the season as he finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds (three offensive).
The Bears trailed 32-16 with 8:12 remaining in the first half, but outscored the Lancers 22-10 over the final eight minutes of the stanza to make it a four-point game (42-38) at the break. Carney led the surge with a trio of three-pointers while St. Louis added six points.
Worcester State went 10-for-24 (42%) from behind the arc in the first half led by five three-pointers from Tyler Dion. The Lancers outrebounded the Bears 27-18 over the first 20 minutes including a 8-3 edge on the offensive glass. Dion paced the visitors with 15 first-half points.
Bridgewater State shot 43% from the floor in the opening stanza with a 5-for-15 (33%) clip from three-point range. Carney and St. Louis paced the Bears with 11 points apiece.
Back-to-back buckets by Ward and St. Louis to open the second half knotted the score at 42-42. After a stop, the Bears had a chance to take the lead, but missed an open layup. The Lancers responded with a 9-1 run to pull ahead 51-43 with 14:43 remaining.
Worcester maintained the lead and held a 66-57 advantage with under eight minutes left to play. A pair of three-pointers from St. Louis and a Carney layup helped the Bears cut the deficit to three (68-65) with 6:26 showing on the scoreboard. The Bears, however, scored just one point over the next four minutes. An 8-1 Worcester run, highlighted by six points from Bjorn, pushed the lead up to ten (76-66) with 2:24 remaining. The Lancers went 9-for-13 at the free throw line over the final 98 seconds to help secure the 85-78 victory.
Worcester shot 41% (28-68) for the game and finished 13-for-36 (36%) from three-point range and 16-for-21 (76%) at the charity stripe. Bridgewater converted 42% (30-72) of its field goal and went 10-for-30 (33%) from behind the arc and 8-for-15 (53%) at the line.
Release courtesy of Bridgewater State University Sports Information.