FITCHBURG, Mass. – The Fitchburg State University men's basketball team posted an 89-76 victory over the visiting Bears of Bridgewater State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) contest on Saturday afternoon at Parkinson Gymnasium.
The host Falcons improve to 11-14 on the season and 6-6 in the MASCAC, while the Bears fall to 16-9 overall and 9-3 in conference play. The game marked the regular season finale for both teams.
Fitchburg State's Jonathan Perez (Lowell, Mass.) lit up the scoreboard with a game-high 27 points, converting on 7-of-10 from the field. He also grabbed six rebounds. Tyrell St. John (Stamford, Conn.) and Brandon Harris (San Bernardino, Calif.) added 13 points apiece for the Falcons, while Troy DaCosta (Cambridge, Mass.) tallied ten. Josh Bosworth (Springfield, Mass.) finished with the teams' only double-double, posting 13 points and grabbing 10 caroms in the victory.
Bridgewater saw a group effort as well, with sophomore Rayshon Ward (Fayetteville, NC) leading the way with a double-double effort of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Rocky DeAndrade (Mansfield, Mass) knocked down 3-of-8 three-pointers on his way to 18 points, while sophomore Ryan Carney (Easton, Mass.) chipped in with 12 points.
A jumper from Perez at the 10:04 mark of the first half put the Falcons up double digits (25-15) as Fitchburg State kept on the gas for the entire frame. After freshman Nick Crocker (East Falmouth, Mass.) brought the Bears within nine with a layup at 9:29, the hosts reeled off a 21-8 streak to take the largest lead of the game (47-25). DaCosta and Bosworth both paced the Green and Gold with six points in the run. The Bears' Darnell Richardson (Medford, Mass.) hit a trey to finish the scoring in the first frame as Fitchburg State would take a 17 point (50-33) halftime lead into the break.
Bridgewater responded in the second half, opening the stanza with a 17-6 run and cut the deficit to six points when Ward hit a layup at the 14:43 mark. Holding just a nine point lead (64-55) Bosworth would score a layup and Perez would hit four from the charity stripe to bump the Falcons up by 15 points with just under seven minutes to play. The Bears were unable to mount another comeback attempt as the Green and Gold would notch their 11th win of the season.
Fitchburg State posted a shooting percentage of 44.8% on 30-for-67 shooting, while Bridgewater State finished at 41.2% (28-of-68). The Falcons converted 24 of 29 (83%) free throw attempts, while the Bears went 13-for-18 (72%) at the charity stripe.
The Falcons held a 19-4 advantage in points off turnovers as well as a 46-22 edge in bench points.
Bridgewater State finished with nine blocked shots on the afternoon with senior Mike Wiederkehr (Bremgarten, Switzerland) leading the way with four and Ward recording three.
The game marked the 96th meeting between the two schools with the Bears still holding a decided 67-29 lead in the all-time series.
Seeded fourth in next week's MASCAC Tournament, the Falcons will host #5 Westfield State University in an opening round matchup on Tuesday night at seven. The Bears, who are seeded second, have a first round bye and will host a semifinal round contest on Thursday night also at seven.