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Bears Power Past Vikings

Bears Power Past Vikings

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Senior guard Ryan Carney (Easton, Mass.) scored 23 points to lead the Bridgewater State University men's basketball team to an 86-74 victory over Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) rival Salem State University on Wednesday night at the Tinsley Center.

The Bears improve to 8-12 on the season and 5-3 in the MASCAC with the win, while the Vikings fall to 3-18 overall and 2-6 in conference play. It's just the sixth time in the storied rivalry of the two teams that Bridgewater has swept the season series.

Carney connected on 5 of 12 three-pointers and wen 6-for-8 at the free throw line. He scored 14 of his team-high 23 points in the second half and finished with seven rebounds and six assists.

Senior forward Dimitri St. Louis (Brockton, Mass.) added 17 points, six rebounds and two steals for the Bears, while sophomore guard Alan Pettway (Worcester, Mass.) contributed 15 points, three rebounds, five assists and two steals, and senior forward Rayshon Ward (Fayetteville, N.C.) notched 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists and three steals. BSU junior guard Jonathan Mercado (Lynn, Mass.)  checked in with nine points, four rebounds, two steals and a game-high seven assists.

Senior forward Hakeem Animashaun (Dedham, Mass.) poured in a game-high 32 points and pulled down a game-best 12 rebounds to lead the way for Salem State. Animashaun, who scored 24 points in the second half, knocked down 14 of 17 field goals attempts and seven of his 12 boards came off the offensive glass. He also blocked two shots.

Junior guard Alex De La Rosa (Boston, Mass.) added 12 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Vikings.  

The Bears never trailed in the first half and got up by as many as 13 points (42-39) late in the stanza. A 7-0 Viking run capped off by a De La Rosa trifecta cut the deficit to six (42-36) before Carney drained a three-pointer from the corner with time winding down to give the Bears a 45-36 lead at the break.

Pettway led all scorers with ten points in the first half, while Carney added nine points for the Bears and sophomore forward Jose Monteiro Jr. (Brockton, Mass.) checked in with eight in 12 minutes off the bench. Animashaun, De La Rosa, and sophomore forward Chris MacDonald (Wakefield, Mass.) tallied eight points apiece for the Vikings in the opening stanza.

The Bears shot 52% (17-33) from the floor over the first 20 minutes and went 6-for-14 (43%) from behind the arc and 5-for-6 (83%) at the free throw line. The Vikings connected on 50% (15-30) of their first-half field goal attempts including 6-for-14 (43%) from three-point range.

A trio of three-pointers by Carney over the first five minutes of the second half helped the Bears open up a 58-43 lead. Bridgewater got up by as many as 16 points on three separate occasions in the stanza, including a 77-61 advantage with 4:51 left to play, and maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.

The Bears' defense forced 14 turnovers in the game which led to a decided 27-7 advantage in points off turnovers.

Bridgewater shot 41% (14-34) in the second half and went 3-for-12 (25%) from three-point range and 10-for-17 (59%) at the line.

The Vikings held a 46-24 edge in points in the paint for the game. Salem, however, went just 1-for-13 (8%) from behind the arc in the second half and 5-for-14 (36%) at the charity stripe.

(Courtesy Bridgewater State Sports Information)