WESTFIELD, Mass. —Top-seeded Westfield State University women's basketball got 18 points each from freshman Melissa Gray (Peabody, Mass) and junior Lucy Barrett (Williamstown, Mass) to defeat fourth seeded Worcester State University, 105-80 in Thursday night's Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference semifinal game at the Woodward Center.
With the win, Westfield (18-7) heads back to the MASCAC championship game for the fourth straight year, and the Owls will be looking to win their third straight conference title. Westfield State University will host the MASCAC championship game Saturday against second-seeded Framingham State University, at 1:00 PM at the Woodward Center.
The Owls ran out to an early 10-2 lead led by Chelsea Moussette's (Southampton, Mass) early eight points. Leading 12-8 late in the first quarter the Owls went on an 11-0 run forcing five Worcester turnovers in that stretch, which was capped by yet another three-pointer from Moussette.
"We shot really well today," said Westfield State head coach Andrea Bertini. "I thought we were able to run our pick and roll, and cut and move. Nothing drastically different from the last meeting, but early we did a good job of turning them over and getting tempo I think that was really important because the pace off play and trying to keep them off the foul line is our goal and we did a good job with that."
Westfield led 55-37 at the half, and 80-65 after three quarters.
The Owls opened the third quarter with a trademark three-pointer from Barrett, which sparked a quick 10-0 run that put the Owls ahead 90-65 with 7:47 left to play.
Westfield shot lights-out from downtown all night as the Owls shot 62 percent (13-21) from behind the arc, to go along with overall field-goal percentage of 54 percent on the game.
Westfield also dished out 20 assists on 30 baskets.
"This is a great shooting team, maybe the best I have had in my time at Westfield State," said Bertini, and they share the ball really well."
Moussette added 17 points and eight assists. Senior center Rebecca Sapouckey (Granby HS/Chicopee, Mass.) added 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and junior guard Kierra McCarthy (Ludlow, Mass.) added 13 points to round out five Owl scorers in double figures.
For Worcester, junior Emily Carens (Northboro, Mass.) led with 21 points and five rebounds off the bench, while junior Kaitlyn Berkel (Waterford, CT) scored 17 points and 14 rebounds while junior Kate Surprenant (Pelham NH) added 16 points and five assists to lead the effort for the Lancers.
Worcester finishes the season 13-14 overall.
Westfield's win sets up a rematch in the conference title game, as the Owls and Rams will meet in the conference final for the third straight time.
Framingham was a 71-50 winner over Bridgewater State in the other semifinal game tonight.
"Obviously Framingham is a really good team, they probably have three all-conference players and seniors on that team," said Bertini. "You have two very good teams that are very familiar with each other, that are very competitive, we've been 1-2 in the league for the last three or four years; it's going to be a fun match up. They'll be ready, our kids will be ready, and we'll see what happens for 40 minutes."