By Jim Fenton, The Enterprise (Brockton)
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Two weeks ago, the Bridgewater State University women’s basketball team had a 4-13 record, including 1-4 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Now, with the regular season winding down, the Bears are the hottest team in the conference.
BSU is playing its best basketball at the right time, owning a five-game winning streak with only three games to go.
The Bears improved to 9-13 and 5-4 in the MASCAC on Wednesday night with a 68-36 victory over Salem State University at the Tinsley Center.
They are now in fourth place, one game behind third-place Worcester State after dominating the second half against the Vikings.
Chanelle Melton of Brockton had 14 points, nine rebounds, four blocks and two steals, continuing her second-half surge this season. Melton is within 26 points of 1,000 in her career.
Sara DaSilva also scored 14 while Kailyn Aguiar contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench and Nicole Bostick chipped in with 11, hitting all three of her 3-pointers.
“During our losing streak, we knew what we had to work on,″ said BSU coach Bridgett Casey. “We knew what we weren’t doing well. It was getting the kids to come to practice every single day and keep fighting and keep working on the things we needed to.
“It took that first win, the taste of it, and then it wasn’t just us talking about it. They went out and did it and it kind of rolled from there.″
The Bears, who upset first-place Westfield State last Saturday, held a 28-19 halftime lead before outscoring Salem State, 40-17, in the second half.
BSU limited the Vikings (8-15, 4-6) to seven points in the third quarter to take control of the game en route to its second largest margin of victory this season.
Casey said the Bears have benefited from being more patient on offense during the winning streak.
“We’re not done,″ said Casey. “We’re definitely going in the right direction. But we’ve still got work to do.