WESTFIELD, Mass. - Worcester State senior Mya Mosley (Worcester, Mass.) scored 36 points and classmate Catherine Sweeney (Lowell, Mass.) added 17 rebounds as the third-seeded Lancers tipped #2 Westfield State 90-75 in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference women's basketball semifinal game at Woodward Center on Thursday night.
With the win, Worcester State (19-8) advances to Saturday's MASCAC Championship for the second consecutive season. They will face the top seed Framingham State at 1 p.m.
The big outing from Worcester's seniors counteracted Westfield junior Melissa Gray, who netted 27 points and seven rebounds, and 12 points and nine assists from Owls senior point guard Chelsea Gray.
Westfield (13-13), the four-time defending conference tournament champs, got out of the gate slowly, trailing by as many as 15 points in the first quarter, and as many as 22 in the first half. Mosley played a huge role in the fast start, scoring the first seven points in the game. The Lancers grabbed their biggest lead of night at 37-15 with 4:32 left in the first half on a Sarah Blomgren (Lunenburg, Mass.) free throw.
The resilient Owls were not ready to surrender, as Gray netted three 3-pointers in the final 2:21 of the half to trim the lead to 47-31 at the half.
Westfield, the top three point shooting team in the nation at more than 13 per game, fired its best shot in the third quarter. Trailing 51-33 with 7:32 left in the third, Owls unloaded as Moussette, Jenn Rennich, Gray and Isabella Aitken all connected on three-point shots as part of a 16-7 run that cut the Lancer lead to single digits at 58-49 with 2:23 left in the third quarter, before Mosley stemmed the tide with a driving layup.
Westfield trimmed the lead to eight at 66-58 on a Gray drive with 8:44 left in the game, but a Mosley putback boosted the lead back to double figures. From there, the lead hovered around the 10-point mark until Mosely drilled a three-pointer with 2:50 left to play that put Worcester up by 13 at 82-69.
Westfield was forced to foul down the stretch, and the Lancers went 6-for-8 at the line in the closing 1:03, including a 4-for-4 mark for Mosley.
Mosley finished 13-for-25 from the floor, 4-for-7 behind the arc, and 6-for-7 at the foul line. Sweeney added 17 rebounds, nine assists, and six points, while freshman Erin Gallella (Tewksbury, Mass.) finished with 16 points.
Worcester State finished 37-for-76 (48.7 percent) from the floor and grabbed 51 rebounds to the Owls' 37. The Lancers also blocked six shots. Worcester State limited its turnovers, as the Lancers had 21 to the Owls' 20. Westfield led the nation in turnovers forced per game (32.5) and turnover margin (15.5).
Release courtesy of Westfield State University Sports Information.