WESTFIELD, Mass. – The visiting Bridgewater State University men's basketball team dropped a 72-67 decision to Westfield State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) matchup on Wednesday evening at the Woodward Center.
The host Owls improve to 9-14 on the season and 5-6 in the MASCAC, while the Bears fall to 13-11 overall and 6-5 in conference play.
Sophomore forward Marcus Collins (Cambridge, Mass.) posted a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds while sophomore guard Peter Mafo (Lynn, Mass.) scored a team-best 17 points and dished out six assists to pace the Owls who overcame a 12-point halftime deficit.
Bridgewater was led by senior guard Fawaz Mass (Taunton, Mass.) who tallied a game-high 18 points with 13 of those coming in the first half. Senior forward Greg Romanko (Mansfield, Mass.) added 11 points for the visitors.
The Bears got up by as many as 14 points (41-27) in the first half as they shot 48% (14-29) from the floor over the first 20 minutes including 6-for-11 (55%) from three-point range.
A pair of free throws by senior guard Jesus Sanchez (Springfield, Mass.) closed out the scoring in the opening stanza as Westfield trailed 41-29 at the break. The late free throws would be part of a 10-0 run as the Owls scored the first eight points of the second half to make it a four-point game (41-37) with 17 minutes remaining.
Later in the period, a Sanchez trifecta cut the deficit to three, 49-46, as the clock ticked under 12 minutes.
Bridgewater responded with a 9-2 run to open up a ten-point lead (58-48) with just over eight minutes left to play. Junior center Mike Wiederkehr (Bremgarten, Switzerland) started the run with back-to-back layups, while senior guard Keyon Armstrong (Brockton, Mass.) capped it off with a three-pointer.
The Bears, however, went nearly three minutes before scoring again as the Owls ripped off eight straight points with Mafo accounting for six of those on a pair of three-point plays.
Hanging on to a two-point advantage (58-56), Mass knocked down 1 of 2 at the line and senior guard Patrick McGuinness (New City, N.Y.) drove to the hoop for a layup to push the BSU lead back up to five, 61-56, with 4:26 showing on the scoreboard.
Westfield junior guard Allister Williams (Boston, Mass.) capped off a 6-0 Westfield spurt with a three-pointer with 2:56 left in regulation to give the Owls their first lead, 62-61, since the early stages of the first half.
After a Romanko layup put the Bears back on top, Williams answered by drilling another triple on the ensuing trip to put the Owls up 65-63.
Armstrong quickly tied it up for the Bears with a driving layup, but senior center Shane Pasquantonio's (Ashland, Mass.) spinning layup with 1:36 to play put the Owls up for good.
Both teams wrap up MASCAC and regular season play on Saturday at one. The Bears host MCLA while the Owls entertain Worcester State University.