Men's Basketball Opens MASCAC Play with 82-71 Win over MCLA

Men's Basketball Opens MASCAC Play with 82-71 Win over MCLA

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Senior forward Joseph Carty (Natick, Mass.) posted a double-double with 24 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, and sophomore forward Rayshon Ward (Plymouth, Mass.) scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Bridgewater State University men's basketball to an 82-71 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) victory over visiting MCLA on Wednesday night at the Tinsley Center.

The Bears improve to 8-6 on the season with their fourth straight win and 1-0 in the MASCAC, while the Trailblazers fall to 3-9 overall and 0-2 in conference play. Bridgewater has won each of the last seven meetings of the two teams. The Bears are also 27-5 versus the Trailblazers since 2002.

Carty, who has recorded five straight doubles and eight this season, connected on 8 of 12 field goals and went 7-for-8 from the line. Four of his 15 boards came off the offensive glass and he also added four assists.  Ward went 9-for-19 from the floor and 4-for-7 from three-point range.

Senior guard Rocky DeAndrade (Mansfield, Mass.) added 14 points for the Bears.

Senior forward Adam Conquest (Gardner, Mass.) paced MCLA with 20 point on 8 of 9 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. Freshman forward Mike Demartinis (Burlington, Mass.) added 13 points and seven boards while senior guard Keiland Cross (Pittsfield, Mass.) notched 11 points and nine rebounds.

The Bears used a 19-2 run late in the first half to turn a two-point game (32-30) into a 19-point advantage (51-32) with two minutes remaining. Bridgewater would ultimately hold a 52-38 lead at the break.

Ward scored 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting in the first half while Carty notched 15. Freshman forward Hayden Bird (North Adams, Mass.) led the visitors with eight points in nine minutes off the bench in the opening stanza.

Bridgewater shot 54% (20-37) over the first 20 minutes including 4-for-9 from behind the arc. The Bears also converted 8 of 12 free throws. MCLA made 15 of 36 (42%) field goal attempts and went 6-for-16 (38%) from long range in the opening stanza.

A 10-3 run to open the second half pulled the Trailblazers to within seven (55-48) and forced a BSU timeout. The Bears responded with a Carney three-pointer and a Carty putback layup to get the advantage back to double-digits at 60-48.

Seven straight MCLA points capped off by a Noah Yearsley (Averill Park, N.Y.) trifecta made it a five-point game (60-55) with 13:34 remaining. A Ward three-pointer ended the run and moments later back-to-back buckets by senior center Dakari Hannah-Wornum (Boston, Mass.) and Carty gave the Bears a 67-57 lead. MCLA would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way as they went just 5-for-15 from the floor over the final ten minutes.

Bridgewater shot 42% (29-69) for the game, including 8-for-23 (35%) from three-point land, and went 16-for-20 (80%) at the free throw line.  The BSU defense held the Trailblazers to 39% (28-71) shooting on the evening and MCLA made just seven trips (5-for-7) to the charity stripe

The MASCAC schedule continues for both teams on Saturday afternoon. The Bears travel to Westfield State University for a three o'clock game with the Owls, while the Trailblazers entertain the Lancers of Worcester State University also at three.