BRIDGEWATER, Mass. --- No. 2 seeded Salem State College behind a balanced scoring attack defeated No. 3 seed Fitchburg State College, 71-55, in the semifinal round of the 2008 MASCAC Women’s Basketball Tournament.
The Lady Vikings (21-5) will meet top-seeded Bridgewater State College tomorrow at 2 P.M at the Tinsley Center in the Championship. Fitchburg State College ends their season at 18-8 and will await word on a possible bid in the upcoming New England ECAC Tournament.
Sophomore forward Katie Bielonko (Chicopee, MA) came off the bench to lead the Lady Vikings with a game-high 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting. She also finished 5-for-6 from the free-throw line, pulled down 4 rebounds, and dished out 2 assists.
Senior guard Melissa Macchi (Peabody, MA) added 14 points and 7 assists as she was 4-for-5 from three-point land. Sophomore center Danielle Jenkins (Marlboro, MA) and senior guard Michelle Gosselin (Underhill Center, VT) added 11 points apiece for Salem State.
Freshman forward Kelly Rogers (Lowell, MA) paced Fitchburg State with 12 points as she was the only Falcon to finish in double figures. Junior forward Steph Payette (Townsend, MA) pulled down a game-best 13 rebounds while senior forward Diana Doyle added 8 points and 11 boards.
Salem State put together a nice defensive effort as they forced 22 turnovers and limited Fitchburg to 27% (18-for-67) shooting. FSC kept the game close throughout the first half and the opening minutes of the second stanza due to an outstanding job on the offensive glass. The Falcons out-rebounded the Lady Vikings 50-45 and they ripped down 26 offensive rebounds in the game.
Salem led 24-23 at the half and trailed just briefly at the opening stages of the second before finally pulling away. The Lady Vikings, who shot 42% (22-for-53) from the floor and 46% (6-for-13) from behind the arc, built the lead up to 26 points (64-43) before settling for the final score.