BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Bridgewater State University men's basketball team withstood a late second half comeback as the Bears edged visiting Framingham State University, 87-80, in overtime in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) matchup on Saturday afternoon at the Tinsley Center.
The Bears improve to 7-15 on the season and 5-5 in the MASCAC, while the Rams fall to 5-18 overall and 4-7 in conference play. Bridgewater is alone in fourth place in the MASCAC standings with two conference games remaining.
Junior forward Rayshon Ward (Fayetteville, N.C.) posted a double-double, his team-leading 13th of the season, with 19 points and 15 rebounds to go along with three assists, two steals and a pair of blocked shots to pace Bridgewater State.
Four other players scored in double figures for the Bears. Sophomore forward Nick Crocker (Falmouth, Mass.) also recorded a double-double as he notched 14 points and 13 rebounds (seven offensive) as well as four assists. Junior guard Ryan Carney (Easton, Mass.) added 19 points, seven boards and five assists for the Bears, while freshman guard Admar Jaramillo (Brockton, Mass.) checked in with 16 points, three rebounds, five assists and a career-best seven steals. Freshman guard Jose Monteiro Jr. (Brockton, Mass.) notched 12 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench to round out BSU's double-digit point producers.
Senior guard Manny Payton (Fitchburg, Mass.) tallied 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals to lead the way for Framingham State. Junior forward Tyri Hampton (Fitchburg, Mass.) chipped in 15 points and eight boards for the Rams, and sophomore forward Cameron McCloud-Thomas (Springfield, Mass.) and senior forward Khaneil Bruce (Cambridge, Mass.) each recorded double-doubles. McCloud-Thomas finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds (five offensive), while Bruce notched 12 points and 11 boards (five offensive). Freshman guard Jared Gordon-Anderson (Framingham, Mass.) contributed 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting in 25 minutes off the bench.
The first half featured four ties and seven lead changes. A pair of free throws by Hampton with 4:25 remaining knotted the score at 31-31. The Bears then went on a 10-2 run over the next 2 ½ minutes capped off by a Jaramillo steal and breakaway layup to give the hosts a 41-33 lead. Jaramillo and Monteiro Jr. tallied four points apiece during the spurt. Neither team scored again until a last second put-back by Bruce ended the run and cut the deficit to 41-35 at the break.
Ward led all players with 11 first-half points, while Bruce paced the Rams with ten. The Bears shot 47% (16-34) in the opening stanza including 4-for-9 (44%) from behind the arc. The Rams connected on 39.5% (15-38) of their field goal attempts over the first 20 minutes and went 2-for-8 (25%) from three-point territory.
Back-to-back layups by McLeod-Thomas and Payton to open the second half made it a two-point game, but the Bears answered with a Carney free throw and a Jaramillo trifecta in transition to push the lead back to six, 45-39. The Bears got up by as many as 13 (56-43) in the period before the Rams battled back to make it a four-point game, 70-66, following a Hampton trifecta with 3:46 left to play. Framingham had a chance to pull closer, but could not convert. A pair of layups by Monteiro Jr. and Crocker pushed the BSU lead back up to eight, 74-66, with 2:14 showing on the scoreboard.
Framingham then reeled off eight straight points as the Bears turned the ball over on three straight possessions and the Rams took full advantage. A Hampton put-back layup capped off the 8-0 run and tied the game at 74-74 with 43.7 seconds left to play. Carney stopped the bleeding with a driving layup with 27.1 seconds remaining to put the Bears back on top, 76-74. McCloud-Thomas, however, sent the game into overtime as his jumper from the top of the key with 6.4 seconds showing on the scoreboard found the bottom of the net.
The Bears tallied the first six points of the overtime session and held the Rams to just four points in the period. Framingham closed to within four, 84-80, following a Gordon-Anderson layup with 1:04 remaining. The Rams, however, would not score again. Crocker made 1 of 2 free throws with 30 seconds left to play and Carney knocked down a pair of foul shots with 14 seconds showing to close out the scoring. Four different Bears scored in overtime led by four points from Carney.
For the game, Bridgewater shot 47% (35-75) from the floor, 28% (5-18) from behind the arc and 67% (12-18) at the charity stripe. Framingham connected on 41% (34-83) of its field goal attempts, including 6-for-21 (29%) from three-point range. Points in the paint were event at 46 apiece, while the Rams held the advantage in both points off turnovers (22-15) and second chance points (20-14). The BSU bench outscored the Framingham reserves, 19-15.
The Bears are back in action on Monday night when they travel to Newbury College for a seven o'clock non-conference game with the Nighthawks. The Rams are off until next Saturday afternoon at one when they wrap up MASCAC and regular season play at home against MCLA.