SALEM, Mass. – Kate Surprenant (Pelham, N.H.) and Colleen Cutting (Auburn, Mass.) each scored 11 points while Catherine Sweeney (Lowell, Mass.) added a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds as Worcester State opened their Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) season with a 54-44 win over Salem State at Twohig Gymnasium on Saturday. The Lancers improve to 9-3 and 1-0 in conference while the Vikings slip to 2-11 and 0-1 in the league.
Surprenant scored five first quarter points and Sweeney four as Worcester State raced out a 14-11 lead. The Lancers led 14-9 before a three-pointer by Julia Mattera (Arlington, Mass.) cut the deficit to two points in the final seconds of the first. Tyra Scott (Methuen, Mass.) led Salem State with five points.
The two teams opened the second quarter scoreless until a free throw by Courtney Paschal (Waltham, Mass.) broke the drought at the 6:11 mark. With just one field goal over the first six and half minutes, the Lancers fell behind 18-16 following a Mattera basket. A three-pointer by Cutting gave the lead back to the Lancers as the two teams traded baskets with a Sarah Blomgren (Grafton, Mass.) jumper tying the game 27-27 right before halftime.
Kia Fernandes (Wareham, Mass.) led all scorers with nine first half points and six rebounds while Scott was right behind with eight points for Salem State. Blomgren topped Worcester State with seven points off the bench, going a perfect 3-3 from the field. The Vikings, who shot 57.1% (4-7) in the first quarter managed to go just 6-17 (35.3%) in the second.
Seven third quarter points by Scott staked Salem state to a 42-39 lead at the end of three. Both team's continued to struggle offensively before the scoring began to pick up as both team's found success in the paint. Four straight points by Scott preceded a Fernandes layup, which allowed Salem State to take a three-point lead into the fourth.
Surprenant put Worcester State back on top, scoring six points during the Lancers' 10-2 run to open the fourth quarter. The Vikings missed their first 10 shots before Fernandes finally broke the skein with a layup at the 3:53 mark. Trailing 49-44, Salem State would not score another point, going 1-15 (6.7%) in the quarter as Worcester State pulled away for a 54-44 victory.
Fernandes had 16-points, 15 rebounds and five blocks for the Vikings. Scott added 15 points and both players went 6-12 (50.0%) from the floor.