Owls Surge to 70-55 Victory

More news about: Salem State

Salem, Mass. --  Forbasaw Nkamebo's (Amherst, MA) 26 points and 11 rebounds helped Westfield State remain perfect in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) as the Owls earned a 70-55 victory over the Vikings of Salem State Wednesday night at Twohig Gymnasium on 'Think Pink" night. The Owls stay unbeaten in the MASCAC (9-0) and improve to 18-4 on the season. The loss snaps a two-game winning streak for the Vikings and drops them to 4-17 and 2-7 in the MASCAC.  The Salem State Athletic Department hosted its annual "Think Pink Night" night, sponsored by Seaport Credit Union, during the college's men's and women's basketball games tonight. It was a highly successful event that raised awareness and collected funds for the continued research of breast cancer.
The Owls looked inside to Nkamebo early in the first half as she totaled 11 points, which included a 6-0 spurt, where she scored on three consecutive possessions to put Westfield State atop 12-4 with just over 13 minutes remaining in the half. Minutes later, Jen Ashton (Beverly, MA) gave the Owls their largest lead of the half when she knocked down a mid-range jumper that put her squad up 16-6. Oddly enough the two sides both shot 12-30 in the first half to average 40% from the field. Midway through the half, the Vikings would gain their first lead of the night after a 13-2 run put them on top 19-18. During that stretch Rachael Carter (Merrimack, NH) and Sarah Callahan (Pelham, MA) each tallied four points while Savannah Spinney (Everett, MA) contributed with four rebounds, two points, and one steal. Salem State showed some resilience later in the half after allowing another 6-0 run by the Owls to answer back with a 5-2 run to exit the half down just a point 28-27.
Despite the evenly matched play in the first half, the Owls began to pull away in the second half with improvement to their outside shooting while also dominating in the paint. Westfield State boosted their shooting percentage to 53.3% (16-30) up 13% from the first half and outscored Salem State 24-6 in the paint, led by Nkamebo who finished the contest with 26 points. With the offensive efficiency increasing for Westfield State in the second half, it began to decrease for Salem State as their shooting dropped to 21.1% (8-38). The Owls closed out the game by hitting their free throws to secure a 70-55 victory.
Carter led the way for the Vikings with 16 points and 10 rebounds while Spinney added 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jill Valley (Orange, MA) added 12 points for Westfield State while Jen Ashton (Beverly, MA) contributed nine points and 11 rebounds in the victory.
The Vikings will hit the road on February 14th when they travel to Framingham State University to challenge the Rams at 1:00 p.m. for a MASCAC showdown. The Owls will resume their season on February 14th as well when  they host a conference game against the Lancers of Worcester State University at 1:00 p.m.