BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Bridgewater State University men's basketball team dropped an 80-68 decision to visiting Fitchburg State University on Senior Day at the Tinsley Center. The game marked the regular season finale for both teams.
The visiting Falcons improve to 12-13 on the season and 7-5 in the MASCAC, while the Bears fall to 8-17 overall and 6-6 in conference play. With the win, Fitchburg earns the #3 seed in next week's MASCAC Tournament and will host a first round game on Tuesday evening at seven against #6 Worcester State University. Bridgewater is the #4 seed will also host a first round game on Tuesday evening at 5:30 vs. #5 Framingham State University.
Junior forwards Devan Harris (Danvers, Mass.) and Jordan Jones (Worcester, Mass.) paced the Falcons with 16 points apiece. Harris went 6-for-11 from the floor and notched seven rebounds (four offensive), while Jones connected on 8 of 11 field goals and tallied seven boards (four offensive) and pair of assists in 18 minutes off the bench.
Junior guard Nicholas Tracy (Indianapolis, Ind.) added 14 points, seven rebounds, a game-high six assists and two steals for the visitors, while senior guard Jonathan Perez (Lowell, Mass.) contributed ten points, four boards and a pair of assists in 23 minutes off the bench.
Junior guard Ryan Carney (Easton, Mass.) led the Bears with a game-high 20 points to go along with four assists and two rebounds, while junior forward Rayshon Ward (Fayetteville, N.C.) checked in with 17 points, a game-high eight rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot. Sophomore forward Nick Crocker (Falmouth, Mass.) rounded out BSU's double-digit point producers with 11 points as well as six rebounds, two steals and a game-best three blocked shots.
Carney now has 980 points in his collegiate career.
After giving up the opening basket of the game, the Falcons never trailed again in a tightly contested first half but also never led by more than six points. Harris' buzzer beating layup off an offensive rebound gave the visitors a 38-34 lead at the break.
Tracy led all players with 12 players over the first 20 minutes, while Carney tallied 11 for the Bears. Fitchburg shot 38% (16-42) in the first half including 5-for-20 (25%) from three-point range. The Falcons also grabbed ten offensive rebounds which led to 13 second chance points. Bridgewater connected on 42% (13-31) of its field goal attempts in the opening stanza and went 2-for-8 (25%) from behind the arc and 6-for-10 (60%) at the free throw line.
There were four ties over the first five-plus minutes of the second half with the last coming on a Ward layup to knot the score at 46-46 with 14:51 remaining. Fitchburg, however, went on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to open up a 56-48 advantage. The Falcons would maintain the lead the rest of the way. The Bears closed to within three following back-to-back layups by Ward and freshman guard Admar Jaramillo (Brockton, Mass.), but that would be as close as they would get as Fitchburg pulled away for the 80-68 win.
The Falcons shot 44% (33-75) for the game and 32% (8-25) from long range. Fitchburg held a decided 51-30 rebounding advantage with an 18-6 edge on the offensive glass which led to a 25-8 differential in second chance points. The Bears connected on 43% (26-61) of their field goal attempts and finished 4-for-19 (21%) from behind the arc and 12-for-18 (67%) at the charity stripe.