BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Senior forward Chanelle Melton's (Brockton, Mass.) layup with 10.8 second remaining broke a 55-all tie and lifted the Bridgewater State University women's basketball team to a dramatic 58-55 victory over MCLA in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) contest on Wednesday evening at the Tinsley Center.
The Bears improve to 4-9 on the season and 1-0 in the MASCAC, while the Trailblazers fall to 4-10 overall and 0-2 in conference play. Bridgewater is now 67-8 all-time versus MCLA dating back to the 1983-84 campaign. The Bears have also won each of the last 15 meetings between the two teams.
Melton finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. Senior guard Jennifer Whyte (Braintree, Mass.) came off the bench to score 14 points to go along with four assists, three boards and a steal in 23 minutes. Whyte connected on 4 of 11 three-point field goals.
Junior guard Courtney Pingelski (Mechanicville, N.Y.) paced the visitors with 18 points as she went 5-for-8 from behind the arc. Junior guard McKenzie Robinson (Adams, Mass.) added 11 points, five assists and five steals for the Trailblazers, while junior forward L'Rae Brundige (Johnsonville, N.Y.) checked in with ten points.
MCLA scored the first eight points of the game, including a pair of three-pointers by Pingelski, and held Bridgewater to just four points in the first quarter as the Trailblazers led 18-4 at the end of one. The Bears went 2-for-14 from the floor in the opening period, while the Trailblazers went 4-for-5 from behind the arc.
A 14-3 run to open the second quarter got the Bears back in the game as they closed the gap to three at 21-18 following a Nicole Bostick (Bridgewater, Mass.) trifecta. Bostick and Whyte tallied five points apiece during the spurt while Melton added four. Late in the period, Bostick knocked down a three to cut the deficit to 30-28 with just 25 seconds remaining until the break. Bridgewater had a good chance to take the lead, but Whyte's three-point attempt at the halftime buzzer was off the mark.
Pingelski led all players with 15 points over the first 20 minutes as she went 5-for-5 from behind the arc. The Trailblazers shot 41% (12-29) in the first half including 6-for-10 (60%) from long range.
Melton, Whyte and Bostick all scored eight points over the first two quarters. The Bears bounced back from a tough first period to shoot 71% (10-14) from the floor in the second quarter and 4-for-6 (67%) from long range.
The third quarter featured two ties and five lead changes with White knocking down a trifecta with just under a minute remaining to put the Bears up 40-39. After a driving layup by Ryan reclaimed the lead for the Trailblazers, DaSilva drained a jumper from the top of the key with time winding down to give BSU a 42-41 advantage heading into the final period.
A layup and three-pointer by Robinson opened the scoring in the fourth quarter as MCLA jumped back in front, 46-42. The Trailblazers would maintain a small lead until the 1:55 mark when Melton tied the game at 53-53 with a layup. A breakaway by Robinson with just over a minute to go reclaimed the lead for MCLA, but BSU sophomore forward Kayla Carter (Beverly, Mass.) tied it moments later with a layup.
The Bears came up with a big stop on the ensuing possession and called a timeout with 24.3 second showing on the scoreboard. Out of the timeout, Melton drove the baseline for a layup and was fouled with 10.8 seconds left to play. Melton drained the free throw to give BSU the 58-55 lead. A last second three-point try by MCLA was way off the mark as the Bears came away with the dramatic victory.
Bridgewater shot 45% (25-56) for the game and went 6-for-19 (32%) from three-point range. The Bear received good production from the bench as the BSU reserves outscored their counterparts, 28-7. Whyte and Bostick combined for 22 of the team's 28 bench points.
MCLA shot 41% (23-56) from the floor and 39% (7-18) from long range. The Trailblazers, however, went just 1-for-8 from behind the arc in the second half.
The MASCAC schedule continues for both teams on Saturday afternoon. The Bears travel to Westfield State University for a one o'clock game with the Owls, while the Trailblazers entertain the Lancers of Worcester State University also at one.