WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State junior guard Kierra McCarthy (Ludlow, Mass.) scored 18 points on efficient 7-9 shooting from the floor as the Owls defeated Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, 78-57 in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference women's basketball game at the Woodward Center on Saturday afternoon.
League leading Westfield stays unbeaten in the MASCAC at 7-0, and the Owls improved to 13-6 overall. MCLA is now 6-13 overall and 2-5 in the league.
The Owls used a hot-shooting first quarter to build a 29-12 lead. Westfield connected on five of 10 three point attempts in the opening stanza, including a pair from McCarthy.
MCLA managed to trim the lead to 10, 40-30 at the half after an Emily Moulton (Drury/North Adams, Mass.) layup with 32 seconds left in the half.
Westfield opened the third quarter quickly, extending the lead to as many as 25 points, 63-38, after a Lucy Barrett (Mt. Greylock/Williamstown, Mass.) three-pointer with 1:37 left in the quarter, and the Owls were able to coast home from that point.
McCarthy finished 7-9 from the floor and 4-5 from three point range, and added three steals and three rebounds. Junior guard Lucy Barrett added 16 points, including four three-pointers and three steals. Senior center Rebecca Sapouckey (Granby/Chicopee, Mass.) grabbed a team-best 12 rebounds and blocked a pair of shots while finishing with six points.
For MCLA, the Trailblazers were led by 17 points and 13 rebounds from Courtney Pingelski (Mechanicville, N.Y.). Samantha Gawron (South Hadley, Mass.) added 10 points, and Moulton finished with six points and 11 rebounds.
Westfield forced the Trailblazers into 34 turnovers, which Westfield converted into 27 points.
The Owls get a break in the conference schedule this week, after a rugged stretch of four games in eight days which included two on the road. Westfield will return to game action next Saturday with a 1 p.m. game at Bridgewater State.
MCLA will next host Bridgewater at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.