SALEM, Mass. -- Junior forward Rhiana Page (Brookline, Mass.), senior guard Chelsea Saucier (Portland, Maine) and freshman guard Nicole Bostick (Bridgewater, Mass.) each scored 14 points as the Bears of Bridgewater State cruised past the Salem State Vikings, 67-45, on Saturday afternoon at Twohig Gymnasium.
The Bears improve to 6-9 with the win while upping their Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) record to 2-1. The Vikings lost their fourth consecutive game as they slide to 8-9 overall and 0-4 in MASCAC play.
The Bears controlled the tip-off and ran out to a 16-2 first quarter lead as six different players scored during the run.
Salem State had a hard time scoring as they were held to just six points in the first quarter and eight points in the second quarter. The Vikings shot only 20% from the floor (5-25) while committing nine turnovers.
Salem State cut the deficit to 20-14 in the second quarter with the help of sophomore forward Kia Fernades (Wenham, Mass.), who scored four consecutive points in the paint. Freshman guard Courtney Paschal (Waltham, Mass.) and senior guard Kaitlyn Bryan (Lowell, Mass.) helped reduce the lead with their shooting as Bryan knocked down two free throws to cut Bridgewater's lead to six.
The Bears struggled with their outside shooting, going 0-11 from three-point range in the first half which allowed Salem State to creep back into the game. A Saucier layup in the final two minutes gave the Bears a 22-14 lead heading into the second half.
Page led all scorers at the break with eight points on 4-5 shooting.
Bridgewater State received production from their bench in the third quarter as the Bears jumped out to an 18-point advantage by the end of the period. After the Vikings cut the deficit to four (23-19), Bostick sparked a 9-0 run with her first three-pointer of the game. After a Fernades made layup, Bridgewater State scored six unanswered points to go up by 18 (38-20) with 2:50 left to play.
The Vikings turned the ball over seven times in the quarter which Bridgewater State converted into 11 points. Meanwhile, the Bears' bench chipped in with 11 points while the Vikings reserves only accounted for five.
In the fourth quarter, the Vikings had no answer as the BSU lead ballooned to 25-points in the final two minutes of the contest after a made layup from senior guard Stephanie DeSantis (Walpole, Mass.).
Sophomore guard Sara DaSilva (Chelmsford, Mass.) chipped in with ten points for the Bears who had four players finish in double-figure scoring.
Junior guard Norma Waggett (Saugus, Mass.) led the way for the Vikings with 16 points and seven rebounds while Fernades tallied 11 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.
Bridgewater State will take the court again on Jan. 18 as they host the Lancers of Worcester State at 7:30 p.m. while the Vikings host the Owls of Westfield State also on the 18th.