WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Junior guard Nicole Bostick (Taunton, Mass.) drained a three-pointer with 13 seconds left in the game to turn a one-point deficit into a two-point lead as the visiting Bridgewater State University women's basketball posted a clutch 69-65 MASCAC win over Westfield State University on Saturday afternoon at the Woodward Center.
The Bears improve to 10-11 on the season and 5-3 in the MASCAC, while the host Owls fall to 12-9 overall and 6-2 in conference play. The loss snaps Westfield's streak of 26-consecutive home wins against MASCAC opponents.
Bostick's transition three from the top of the arc gave the Bears a 67-65 lead. Senior guard Kierra McCarthy (Ludlow, Mass.) had a chance to tie the game for the Owls at the free throw line with five seconds remaining, but missed both ends of a two-shot foul. The second free throw was missed intentionally, but did not hit the rim. BSU senior guard Olivia DelGrosso (Ledyard, Conn.) connected on a pair of free throws at the other end of the floor to ice the game for the Bears.
DelGrosso led the Bears with 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Senior guard Danielle Arcidiacono (Bellingham, Mass.) provided a strong effort in 27 minutes off the bench with 14 points and a career-high ten rebounds (five offensive), while senior forward Kailyn Aguiar (Acushnet, Mass.) contributed 12 points and eight board (five offensive). The double-double for Arcidiacono marked the first of her collegiate career.
Westfield was led by 15 points from sophomore forward Melissa Gray (Peabody, Mass.), the only Owl to score in double figures on the day. Senior guard Lucy Barrett (Williamstown, Mass.) added nine points and McCarthy eight for Westfield.
The game featured ten ties and 20 lead changes with the Bears clinging to a 32-30 lead at the break. The Owls threatened to get away from Bridgewater early in the fourth quarter, leading by as many as eight points, 56-48, after a Chelsea Moussette (Southampton, Mass.) layup with 8:17 to play. The Bears, however, answered with a 12-4 run over the next 5:12, a spurt that was capped by Arcidiacono feeding Aguiar for a layup that trimmed the Westfield lead to 61-60. The teams exchanged two layups apiece before the Bears came up with a big stop, but were unable to capitalize as they turned the ball over with 40 seconds left to play. Westfield then missed two free throws and had two more layup opportunities off offensive rebounds, but could not convert. That would set the stage for Bostick's heroics.
Bridgewater managed to win the game despite turning the ball over a season-high 38 times. The Bears shot 39% (23-59) from the floor, including 3-for-9 (33%) from long range, and connected on 18 of 20 (90%) free throw attempts.
Bridgewater kept Westfield well under its season scoring average of 90.2 points per game. Westfield shot just 25% (22-87) from the floor and 9-for-47 (19%) on three-point tries. The Owls also went just 12-for-24 (50%) at the charity stripe.
The Owls finished with a 26-15 advantage in points off turnovers, while the Bears held the edge in points in the paint (40-26), fastbreak points (15-13) and second chance points (12-9).
The MASCAC schedule continues for both teams on Wednesday night at 7:30. The Owls host Framingham State University, while the Bears travel to Salem State University.