Bears Hold Off Vikings 61-49

More news about: Salem State

Salem, Mass. -- Rachel Kusz (Worcester, MA) netted 23 points as the Bears of Bridgewater State rolled past the Vikings of Salem State 61-49 Saturday afternoon at the Twohig Gymnasium. The Bears move to 11-7 on the season and improve to 5-1 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). The Vikings continue to struggle this season as they drop to 2-14 overall and 0-5 in the MASCAC.

Tightly played in the opening minutes, Bridgewater State began to pull away after Kusz knocked down two three-pointers to extend the Bears lead to 13-8 with 13:43 left in the half. With a mixture of great defense from the Bears frontcourt, which forced 13 turnovers in the first half, and finding success shooting from the field, Bridgewater State gained a 14-point advantage over Salem State midway through the first half. The Bears shot a mediocre 43% from the field, but that was enough offense as their defense converted 17 points off Vikings' turnovers. Malissa Saad (Worcester, MA) led Salem State in the first half with four points and three rebounds as she played the entire half for Salem State. Rachael Carter (Merrimack, NH) and Gabriela Feraro (Douglas, MA) each added four points for the Vikings, which shot only 23% from the field. The Bears exited the half on an 8-0 run that gave them a comfortable 35-16 lead. Kusz totaled 12 points in the first half all coming from beyond the arc as she shot 4-9.

Melissa Daigle (Rockland, MA) opened up the second half draining a deep three-pointer to further the Bridgewater State lead to 38-16. Salem State managed to battle back, which included a 7-0 run in the first seven minutes of the half that brought them to within 15 of Bridgewater State. The Vikings were able to get a couple stops on defense and again sliced Bridgewater State's lead to just 11 at the six-minute mark. After a slow start to the first half with just four points, Carter's aggression in the offensive end benefitted Salem State as she scored 14 points in the half allowing the Vikings' to come to within eight in the last thirty seconds, but it was too late as the Bears held on despite poor free throw shooting during the stretch.

Kusz led all scorers with 23 points as she shot 6-16 from three-point range. Daigle chipped in with 12 points for the Bears, who have won five straight. Carter anchored the Vikings with 18 points while Saad finished with 11 points. Savanah Spinney (Everett, MA) added nine points and seven rebounds for Salem State.

Both teams resume action in North Adams when they travel to face off against conference opponent MCLA. The Vikings will test the Trailblazers first on January 27th at 5:30 p.m. then the Bears will see MCLA on January 31st for a 1:00 p.m. tip-off.