Women's Basketball Holds Off Fitchburg State, 71-65

Women's Basketball Holds Off Fitchburg State, 71-65

FITCHBURG, Mass. – Senior guard Olivia DelGrosso (Ledyard, Conn.) scored a game-high 21 points and classmates Sara DaSilva (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Kailyn Aguiar (Acushnet, Mass.) added 18 points apiece to lead the visiting Bridgewater State University women's basketball team to a 71-65 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) victory over Fitchburg State University on Thursday night at Parkinson Gymnasium.

The Bears improve to 8-11 on the season and 3-3 in the MASCAC, while the host Falcons fall to 8-9 overall and 2-4 in conference play.

DelGrosso connected on 7 of 15 goals and went 7-for-8 at the free throw line, while DaSilva was 8-for-16 from the floor including 2-for-4 from behind the arc. DaSilva also checked in with four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.

Aguiar knocked down 9 of 13 field goals attempts and posted her fifth double-double of the season as she corralled a team-best 12 rebounds with five coming off the offensive glass. Aguiar added five assists and three steals.

BSU sophomore forward Destiny Fitzgerald (Medford, Mass.) checked in with eight points, nine rebounds (four offensive), three assists and two blocked shots in 27 minutes off the bench.

Junior forward Catherine Coppinger (Boston, Mass.) notched a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 14 rebounds (five offensive) to lead the way for Fitchburg State. Coppinger was 8-for-15 from the floor and recorded a game-high six steals.

Junior guard Angelina Marazzi (Manchester, N.H.) contributed 15 points, three rebounds and five assists for the Falcons, while sophomore guard Payton Holmes (Carver, Mass.) scored 11 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Holmes was 3-for-5 from behind the arc.

Bridgewater led 21-17 after one quarter of play. Marazzi opened the second quarter with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to one (21-10), but the Bears outscored the Falcons 14-4 over the next five minutes to open up an 11-point lead, 35-24. Aguiar, DaSilva and Fitzgerald tallied four points apiece during the run. Seven straight points, including a Marazzi trifecta, pull the Falcons to within four, 35-31. Bridgewater would ultimately take a 39-33 lead into the break.

Aguiar led all players with 12 first-half points, while DaSilva added 11. Marazzi paced the Falcons with 11 points over the first 20 minutes. The Bears shot 51% (18-35) in the first half but went just 1-for-8 from behind the arc. The Falcons connected on just 38% (13-34) of their field goal attempts, but five of their 13 made shots were three-pointers.

Clinging to a three-point lead (43-40) with 6 ½ minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Bears came up with two offensive rebounds on a key possession which led to a pair of baskets by Aguiar and DelGrosso. A three-pointer and layup by DaSilva put the finishing touches on a 9-0 run as Bridgewater opened up a 52-40 advantage. The Falcons, however, outscored the Bears 15-6 over the final five minutes of the quarter to make it a three-point game (58-55) heading into the final period. Holmes knocked down a pair of three-pointers and Coppinger tallied five points during the stretch.

A DelGrosso jumper and a pair of free throws by Fitzgerald to open the fourth quarter extended the BSU Lead to 62-55. The Falcons reeled off six straight points capped off by a Holmes bucket to make it a one-points game with under seven minutes remaining. Fitchburg had multiple opportunities to take the lead but could not convert. An Aguiar bucket was answered by a Marazzi jumper as the BSU lead stayed at one, 64-63, with 4:45 left to play. After a stop, the Falcons had another chance to grab the lead, but a three-pointer was off the mark.

A driving layup by DelGrosso made it a three-point game, 66-63, with just under three minutes showing on the scoreboard. Junior center Emily Beauvais (Haverhill, Mass.) converted 1 of 2 free throws at the other end of the floor and, after another stop, the Falcons had a chance to tie the game but missed back-to-back shots. A key layup by freshman guard Olivia Dziadyk (Wakefield, Mass.) pushed the Bears' lead to 68-64 and Coppinger converted 1 of 2 at the line with 49 seconds remaining to pull the Falcons to within three. Fitchburg, however, would not score again. DelGrosso grabbed a big offensive rebound on the Bears' ensuing possession and proceeded to knock down 3 of 4 free throws in the final 20 seconds to secure the 71-65 victory.

Bridgewater shot 49% () for the game, but just 2-for-15 (13%) from long distance. The Bears did go 9-for-11 (82%) at the free throw line.

Fitchburg shot 41% (25-61) from the floor, 38% (8-21) from behind the arc and 78% (7-9) at the stripe. The Falcons two missed free throws, however, came at a crucial time of the game.

Bridgewater finished with a 37-32 rebounding advantage with a slight 17-16 edge on the offensive boards, while turnovers were even at 18 apiece. The Bears held a 24-14 advantage in both points off turnovers and second chance points.

The Bears are off until next Wednesday night when they host conference rival MCLA at 7:30. The Falcons entertain MASCAC foe Framingham State University on Saturday afternoon at two.