Falcons collect first conference victory behind Ingram-Rubin's 23 points
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (January 14, 2014) – The Fitchburg State men's basketball team earned its first conference victory of the season, defeating the Trailblazers of MCLA, 77-75, in MASCAC action this evening.
With the victory, Fitchburg State improves to 1-2 in the MASCAC (1-11 overall), while MCLA drops to 1-2 in the conference and 3-11 overall.
Senior Mike Ingram-Rubin led all scorers with 23 points for Fitchburg State while Jeremic Bennett's 22 points led the Trailblazers.
The second half featured eight lead changes and four ties. Neither team led by more than six points over the final twenty minutes. Fitchburg State held a slim 74-71 lead with just two minutes to play., but MCLA regained the lead following a pair of Bennett jumpers to put the Trailblazers on top at 75-74 with just 48 seconds left.
Junior Malcolm Dixon (Brooklyn, N.Y.) then drove the paint for Fitchburg State as time was winding down on the shot clock. He was fouled and calmly sank both free throws for a one point Falcon lead. Bennett then drove to the middle of the lane and made what appeared to be the go ahead basket, however he was whistled for an offensive foul negating the hoop.
Forced to foul, MCLA sent Ingram-Rubin to the line with 12 seconds left. The senior hit the first but missed on the second attempt. Down two, Trailblazer John Jones drove the length of the floor but dribbled off his foot giving possession back to Fitchburg State. Another foul sent Anthony Muccioli (Nashua, N.H.) to the line, but he missed both freebies with seven seconds left.
Fitchburg State pressured the ball in the back court and Bennett was forced to take a contested three pointer as the clock wound down. It fell harmlessly to the floor giving Fitchburg State the narrow victory.
For the game, Ingram-Rubin finished 7-13 from the floor and added eight rebounds on the night.Muccioli ended with 16 points, while Leonny Burgos (Lawrence, Mass.) added 15 and Mo Molin (Brockton, Mass.) chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Fitchburg State will be back in action on Thursday as it visits Keene State at 7:30 p.m. MCLA is back in action on Thursday when they host Sage in a non-conference matchup at 7pm.