Westfield, MA --- Westfield State sophomore Forbasaw Nkamebo (Amherst, MA) poured in a career high 31 points and junior Jen Ashton (Beverly, MA) added 21 points to lead the Owls to a 69-62 victory over Worcester State this evening at the Woodard Center in MASCAC women's basketball action.
Westfield State boosted their record to 3-1 in MASCAC play and 10-7 overall. The Lancers even out to 2-2 in the league circuit and are now 6-11 on the campaign.
Nkamebo ended the night with a game-high 13 rebounds while she connected for 11-of-18 from the field and 9-for-15 from the foul line. In addition to her sum, Ashton racked up eight steals, seven assists and five boards for the Owls.
With Nkamebo and Ashton both scoring 11 first-half points, the hosts led by as many as five points, 22-17, at the 6:29 mark. But the Lancers closed the first half with an 11-3 run to take a 28-25 intermission lead.
Worcester State junior Kelli McPherson (Mansfield, MA) and senior Meaghan Burns (W. Brookfield/Quaboag) each scored 10 first-half points.
The game's turning point came at the outset of the second half when Westfield State outscored Worcester State, 19-5 for a 44-33 lead with 13:50 remaining. Back-to-back trey's baskets by freshman Alyssa Darling (Palmer, MA) and sophomore Tayler Travis (Somerset, MA) sparked a 12-0 run during the early second-half scoring surge.
Paced by Burns, who scored a team-high 21 points including her 1,000th career point, the Lancers chipped away and pulled within two points on a triple by sophomore Julie Frankian (Millbury, MA) with 47 seconds remaining.
But Nkamebo came up huge 20 seconds later with a sensational lay-in while heavily guarded to give the Owls a 65-61 lead.
Burns hit a free throw with 19 seconds remaining then Travis canned two free throws for a 67-62 lead with 18 ticks remaining.
Burns had 980 points entering the game and reached the magic milestone career point on a free throw with six minutes remaining. Burns also totaled nine rebounds, three assists and two steals.
McPherson and junior Shannen El-Qasem (Rutland, MA) scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. Frankian combined eight points and a team-high 11 rebounds and sophomore Cheyenne Jennings (Worcester, MA/Wachusett) finished with nine points and five assists.
Both teams shot 41 percent from the field , but Westfield (15 for 25) outscored Worcester (9 for 20) from the foul line.
Travis contributed eight points and 10 rebounds to help give the Owls a 46-37 edge in rebounding.
Major Portions of Release Courtesy of Westfield State Sports Information