Martin's Double-Double Propels Mount Ida Past Fitchburg State, 94-80

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Athletic Center, Newton, Mass.




NEWTON, Mass. --  Sophomore Valerie Martin (Derry, N.H.) notched a double-double effort of 28 points, 15 rebounds and four assists to lead four players in double figures as Mount Ida used a 31-point fourth quarter outburst to post a 94-80 non-league college women's basketball victory over Fitchburg State Tuesday evening at the Athletic Center.


The host Mustangs (5-2) raced out to a 14-4 advantage in the opening 4:21 of the first quarter, but the visiting Falcons (3-5) scored 15 of the final 18 points of the frame to take a 19-17 edge after 10 minutes of action.  Fitchburg State began the second stanza with an 8-2 run fueled by a pair of lay-ins from senior Michaela McTomney (Bellingham, Mass.) in building an eight-point lead (27-19), but Mount Ida closed the half on a 14-3 run over the final 4:12 of action, as senior Breanna Muir (Wareham, Mass.) scored four of the final six points before intermission to stake the hosts to a 44-39 advantage at the break.


A pair of Muir free throws in the opening minute of the third quarter extended the Mustangs' lead to seven, but the Falcons crept back to within one (55-54) on a pair of free throws by junior Mikala Malboeuf (Fitchburg, Mass.) with 3:17 remaining in the period.  The hosts scored six of the game's next seven points to grab a 61-55 lead on a lay-in by senior Imani Bumpus (Dedham, Mass.), but the visitors used a three-pointer by sophomore Emma Thomson (York, Maine) in the final seconds of the frame to pull to within three (63-60) and evened matters on Malboeuf's conventional three-point play 38 seconds into the fourth quarter.


Martin responded a three-point play of her own just 35 seconds later to give Mount Ida the lead for good at 66-63, sparking a 21-6 Mustang run over a 5:07 stretch that broke the tie and extended the hosts' edge to 84-69 with 3:40 remaining on a pair of free throws by sophomore Alisa Benson (Middletown, R.I.).  The Falcons got back to within nine (86-77) with just over two minutes to play on a pair of McTomney free throws, but a combined five free throws from Muir, sophomore Jessica Cyr (Ashford, Conn.) and freshman Skyler LeClair (Hinsdale, N.H.) in the final 1:29 of action helped ice the hosts' triumph.


Bumpus added 17 points and five rebounds in the win for the Mustangs, who received 12 points, six rebounds and three assists from Muir to go with 12 points, four boards, two assists and a pair of steals from senior Jaime Moscato (Taunton, Mass.).  Cyr added nine points off the bench for Mount Ida, which received eight points and four rebounds from Benson to go with seven points, three caroms, three assists and a pair of steals from senior Patricia Liotta (Hampton Bays, N.Y.).  The hosts shot 48 percent (31-65) from the field overall (including 64 percent in the fourth quarter alone) and connected for six three pointers, as Martin was perfect from the foul line on all 13 of her attempts and helped the Mustangs hold a 26-19 scoring advantage at the charity stripe for the contest.  Mount Ida scored 24 points off of 18 Falcon turnovers in posting their first-ever victory in eight all-time meetings between the two schools.


Sophomore Angelina Marazzi (Manchester, N.H.) paced Fitchburg State in the scoring column with 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Malboeuf added 20 points, five boards and a pair of steals off the bench.  McTomney finished with 11 points, five caroms and a pair of steals for the visitors, who also received a double-double effort of 10 points and 11 rebounds from freshman Mikaela Mitchell (Millbury, Mass.).  Fitchburg State shot 34 percent (27-78) from the field and canned seven three-pointers, as the Falcons converted 18 offensive rebounds into 22 second chance points on the night.


Mount Ida hosts Mount Holyoke in a non-league outing on Saturday afternoon at the Athletic Center that tips-off at 1:00 p.m., while Fitchburg State entertains Suffolk in a non-league contest on Thursday evening in Fitchburg, Mass. beginning at 7:00 p.m.