Vazquez Scores Career High 31; Devine Sets Blocked Shots Record In Westfield's 80-66 Win Over Fisher College
WESTFIELD, Mass. – Junior guard Lee Vazquez had a career-high 31 points, eight rebounds and eight steals and junior center Matt Devine totaled 19 points, 11 rebounds and seven blocks to power Westfield State University to an 80-66 victory over Fisher College in its home opener on Tuesday, Nov. 22.
The Owls are 0-3 while Fisher, a NAIA school located in Boston, drops to 2-5.
Vazquez scored 17 first-half points to lead the Owls to a 40-27 lead at the intermission. He was held scoreless in the first 10 minutes of the second half as Fisher sliced the Westfield lead to five points, then the hustling 5-6 guard from Attleboro, Mass., (Woonsocket, R.I. High School), exploded for 14 points in the game's final 9:44, including 11 points in the final 3:27.
Devine had the most memorable night, however, as he set a school rebound for career blocked shots. The 6-7 junior from Pembroke now has 145 career blocks, surpassing the former record of 139 set by Russell Thompson, an All-America selection during his senior season in 1987.
Devine - dubbed "The Big Easy" - rejected seven Fisher shots to tie his single-game record. He has now recorded seven blocked shots in four games, including the 2011-2012 season opener vs. Wheelock College.
The Owls trailed early 8-7 then got their fast break and fullc ourt press clicking to take a 25-12 lead with 7:47 left in the first half. Their biggest lead of the game was 16 points, 34-18, at the 4:39 mark.
Fisher battled back to cut the lead to five points twice in the second half, including a 53-48 margin. Vazquez began his scoring blitzkrieg by canning two free throws for a 55-48 advantage with 9:44 remaining. Vazquez drained a huge 3-point basket to give Westfield a 65-57 lead with 3:27 remaining. Sparked by his 11 points, Westfield outscored Fisher, 18-9, in the final 3:27.
Westfield's only other player in double figures was freshman forward Grant Cooper (Northampton) with 10 points. Vazquez, Devine and Cooper accounted for 75 percent (60) of Westfield's points.
The Owls shot 49 percent from the field. Vazquez was 10 for 20 from the floor, including 5 for 11 from 3-point range.
Fisher only shot 30 percent from the field but it stayed within reach by canning 22 of 30 free throws. Dennis Norfold posted a double-double with team highs of 16 points and 10 rebounds. Elijah Chisholm and Kyle Murphy each scored 10 points.