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Animashaun Leads Vikings Past Falcons

Animashaun Leads Vikings Past Falcons

SALEM, Mass. - Hakeem Animashaun (Dedham, Mass.) filled the stat sheet with 22 points (FG 9-14, FT 4-6) 18 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks in Salem State's 82-64 MASCAC victory over Fitchburg State at Twohig Gymnasium on Saturday.  The Vikings are now 3-17 and 2-5 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). Fitchburg State tumbles to 8-12 on the year and 2-5 in conference.

The Falcons opened an early lead as Tayjuan McKenzie (Lynn, Mass.) made the Falcons' third shot from behind the arc for an 11-5 lead. Later in the half, Jaden Castillo's (Lawrence, Mass.) soft floater put the Vikings up 12-11 as the home team seized control of the game.

Later, Animashaun found Castillo open behind the arc and he drained a three to extend Salem State's lead to 24-17 with 6:58 to go in the first half.

The Vikings led the Falcons at the half, 38-28. Salem State shot 43.8% (FG 14-32) from the field while Fitchburg State shot 31% (FG 9-29) from the floor.

Animashaun had eight points (FG 4-4), seven rebounds, and three assists. McKenzie finished the half with nine points (FG 3-11, 3PT 2-7) and seven rebounds for Fitchburg State.

Fitchburg State managed to cut the lead to single digits multiple times in the second half, and with 8:54 into the second half, the Falcons trailed 52-43 after Trevian Hinson (Tampa, Fla.) drilled a three-pointer. 

With 4:54 left in the second half, Toskany Abreu (Salem, Mass.) made a behind-the-back pass to a cutting Jordan Jones (Worcester, Mass.) and he made the layup to make it a 65-57 game. 

However, Animashaun kept Salem State in front, scoring seven points over the final minutes as the Vikings built a 78-64 advantage. 

For the game, Salem State shot 45.3% (FG 29-64) from the field. The Vikings went 16-25 (FT 64%) from the stripe.

Fitchburg State shot poorly only converting on 29.3% (FG 22-74) of their shot attempts. The Falcons hit 14-19 (FT 73.7%) of their free throws.

Patrick Bugler (Marblehead, Mass.) finished with 15 points (FG 5-7, 3PT 3-3), seven rebounds, and three steals for the Vikings. Castillo posted 18 points (FG 8-15, 3PT 2-5), five rebounds, and four assists.

For Fitchburg State, Abreu scored 10 points (FG 3-12) and had four assists. McKenzie added nine points (FG 3-15) and eight rebounds.