BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Senior guard Lucy Barrett (Williamstown, Mass.) scored a game-high 24 points to lead the visiting Westfield State University women's basketball team to a 77-68 victory over Bridgewater State University in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) matchup on Saturday afternoon at the Tinsley Center.
The Owls improve to 8-7 on the season and 2-0 in the MASCAC, while the Bears fall to 6-9 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Barrett connected on 10 of 19 field goal attempts including 3-for-7 from behind the arc. She also grabbed four rebounds and registered a game-best five steals.
Sophomore forward Melissa Gray (Peabody, Mass. added 18 points, four boards, and three steals for Westfield.
Sophomore center Destiny Fitzgerald (Medford, Mass.) recorded a double-double with a career-high 22 points and a game-high 11 rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench to lead the way for Bridgewater State. Seven of Fitzgerald's 11 boards came off the offensive glass and she also blocked three shots. Fitzgerald has posted a double-double in three of the last four games.
BSU senior guard Sara DaSilva (Chelmsford, Mass.) scored a season-best 20 points to go along with six assists and four steals, while senior forward Kailyn Aguiar (Acushnet, Mass.) notched her fourth double-double of the season as she tallied 12 points and 11 rebounds with six offensive boards.
In a tightly contested first half, the Bears led 24-22 following a Nicole Bostick (Taunton, Mass.) three-pointer with 4:26 remaining in the second quarter. Westfield, however, closed out the period with a 13-3 run to take a 35-27 lead into the break. Barrett scored five points during the run while Gray notched four. The opening 20 minutes featured five ties and five lead changes.
The two teams turned the ball over 14 times apiece in the first half. Bridgewater shot just 34% (11-32) from the floor in the first half and made just one field goal over the last four minutes. The Bears went 3-for-15 (20%) from behind the arc and 2-for-5 (40%) at the free throw line. The Owls connected on 50% (13-26) of their field goal attempt over the first 20 minutes, including 3-for-7 (43%) from three-point range. Westfield also went 6-for-9 (67%) at the stripe.
Gray led all first-half scorers with 13 points, while Fitzgerald paced the Bears with nine off the bench.
The Bears closed the gap to four, 41-37, with 6:24 remaining in the third quarter following three consecutive layup by Aguiar (2) and Fitzgerald. The Owls answered with a 13-0 run to open up a 17-point lead (57-37) with four minutes left to play in the period. Five different players scored during the run including a trio of three-pointers from Barrett and junior guards Alyssa Camara (Quincy, Mass.) and Ashley Lane (Warrentown, Va.).
The BSU defense held the Owls scoreless over the final four minutes of the third quarter and the Bears closed out the period with an 11-0 run to climb to within six points (54-48) heading into the fourth. Fitzgerald scored five points during the run while DaSilva notched four.
A Fitzgerald layup to open the final period made it a four-point game (54-50). Five straight points from Barrett and an Allison Hester (Sutton, Mass.) trifecta pushed the Westfield lead back up to 12 (62-50) with 8:19 left play. Back-to-back three-pointers from DaSilva pulled the Bears to within six, 62-56, but the Owls answered with a free throw a pair of layups by Barrett and junior guard Cayla Durkee (Georgetown, Mass.) to make it a 67-56 game as the clock ticked under six minutes. Bridgewater would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Westfield shot 46% (30-66) for the game and knocked down 9 of 26 (35%) three-point attempts. The Owls forced 29 turnovers, thanks in large part to 17 steals, which led to a 39-20 advantage in points off turnovers.
Bridgewater connected on 42% (28-66) of its field goal attempts and finished 6-for-23 (26%) from behind the arc. The Bears recorded 16 steals and forced 22 turnovers while also holding a 44-37 rebounding advantage with a 19-14 edge on the offensive boards.
Both teams are back in action on Wednesday evening. The Bears entertain the Vikings of Salem State University at 7:30, while the Owls travel to Framingham State University for an eight o'clock game with the Rams.