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Fitchburg State Edged By Salem State, 71-67

Fitchburg State Edged By Salem State, 71-67

Rose and Thomson combine for 37 points for Falcons in MASCAC setback

SALEM, MASS. – The Fitchburg State women's basketball team dropped a tough 71-67 decision to the Vikings of Salem State University this evening in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action at the Twohig Gymnasium.

With the score knotted at 11-11, Fitchburg State went on a 5-0 run to close the out the first quarter as junior Michaela McTomney connected on a pair of jumpers, while freshman Kyra Rose added a free throw for the 16-11 margin after ten minutes of play.

In the second quarter, the Falcons extended its lead (21-13) on a three pointer by newcomer Emma Thomson and a pair of free throw by Rose. Following a layup by Rose (23-16), the Vikings went on a 9-0 stretch, capped by a jumper from junior Norma Waggett to regain the lead at 25-23.

Rose knocked a trey ball that gave Fitchburg State a 28-25 advantage before the two teams proceeded to trade baskets throughout the remainder of the half with sophomore Courtney Paschal  draining a three-pointer with 48 seconds remaining in the frame to knot the score at 31-31 going into the break.

After the intermission, the Falcons opened the third stanza on a 10-2 run (41-33) as Rose registered five of her game-best 20 points, while Thomson added a trey. Salem State responded with a 6-2 streak with Paschal, junior Sarah Kaba and sophomore Kia Fernandes picking up two points each to cut the lead to 43-41.

Thomson connected on another three ball to put Fitchburg State up 51-50 before Waggett hit a jumper for the Vikings to give the hosts a 52-51 edge going into the final quarter of play.

In the fourth quarter, the Green and Gold took the lead back (53-51) following a three point play from Rose, but Salem State answered back as junior Kate Lipka buried a three-pointers for the 54-53 margin.

The Falcons would regain the lead 61-57, going on a 7-1 run, highlighted by senior guard Shabeli Villa's five points, while freshman Allysa Rivera added a pair from the charity stripe. The Vikings rallied back however, regaining the lead for good (69-67) after a jumper by Kaba as Salem State held on for the 71-67 final.

Rose paced the Falcons offense with a game-best 20 points, seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks, while Thomson added 17 points and three boards. McTomney was also solid for the Green and Gold with a double-double of ten points and 17 caroms as well as one block and one steal.

For Salem State, Waggett registered a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds to go along with one assist and two steals, while Fernandes chipped in with 15 points, five boards, four steals, one assist and one block.

Throughout the contest, Fitchburg State shot 20-for-67 (29.9%) from the field and (10-of-30) 33.3% from beyond the arc, while Salem State finished 23-of-72 (31.9%) overall and (6-for-25) 24.0% form three point range.

Fitchburg State (9-15, 1-10 MASCAC) returns to action on Saturday as it hosts the Rams of Framingham State University for a contest starting at 3 p.m. Salem State (11-14, 3-9 MASCAC) conclude its 2016-17 regular season and awaits seeding into the upcoming MASCAC Women's Basketball post-season tournament.

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