FITCHBURG, Mass. –Junior Rebecca Fluet (Fitchburg, Mass.) collected a game-high 24 points as the Fitchburg State women's basketball team defeated the Bears of Bridgewater State, 86-75, in MASCAC action on Saturday afternoon.
The Falcons improves 13-9 on the season and 6-4 in the MASCAC. The Bears, who saw their six-game winning streak come to an end, fall to 14-10 overall and 8-3 in conference play.
Fluet led the Falcons, shooting 9-of-11 from the floor, including 4-of-5 from the long range, while senior Amy Fahey (Wilmington, Mass.) added 21 points and six rebounds to the mix. Junior Laura Cote (Ashby, Mass.) also notched double-figures with 19 points on 8-of-19 shooting, while Britney Payne (Franklin, Ky.) was all over the court with eight assists, six rebounds and five steals.
For the Bears, junior Melissa Daigle (Rockland, Mass.) led the offensive attack, totaling a team-best 18 points with five boards and five steals, while freshman Chanelle Melton(Brockton, Mass.) chipped in with 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting. Junior Rachel Kusz(Worcester, Mass.) was also solid with 11 points on the afternoon, while senior Elisha Homich (Ludlow, Mass.) added eight points, six steals and a game-best ten assists.
In an action packed first half, both teams fared well from the floor, with Fitchburg State holding a two point advantage (43-41) at the break. The Falcons shot 53.8% from the floor, led by Fahey who posted ten points. Cote was also strong with eight points and three steals, while Daigle and Melton totaled notched 13 points and 11 points respectively for the Bears.
In the second half, Fitchburg State broke open the contest, posting a ten-point advantage (64-54) with a 10-4 run midway through the frame. Cote and Fahey led the surge with two buckets apiece, while Fluet capped the run with a lay-up at the 11:09 mark.
The Falcons maintained their multiple basket advantage throughout much of the second period, gaining key, three point baskets from Fluet at the 9:35 and 4:39 marks. Fluet led the Falcons second half scoring, totaling 17 of her 24 points in the frame, while Fahey and Cote registered 11 points apiece. Kusz led the Bears with nine.
For the game, Fitchburg State was hot from the floor, shooting 52.9% for the game. The Falcons were also strong at the free-throw line, hitting 10-of-12 attempts, while limiting the Bears to just four free-throw attempts all contest. Bridgewater State held a 39-34 advantage on the boards.
The two teams combined to turn the ball over 55 times with the Falcons forcing 30 Bear turnovers thanks in large part to 20 steals. Bridgewater recorded 20 turnovers in the second half alone.
Both team return to the court on Tuesday evening for key MASCAC games. Fitchburg visits Worcester State at six, while Bridgewater travels to Salem State to take on the Vikings at 5:30. The Bears, who have already clinched a tie for the MASCAC regular season championship, would win the conference title outright with a win over the Vikings.