WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Freshman center Liz Zaiter (Peabody, Mass.) scored 25 points and recorded a school-record 30 rebounds in the Vikings' 91-77 loss to Westfield State in a MASCAC women's basketball game at the Woodward Center on Saturday. Zaiter secured 17 rebounds after halftime to shatter the previous Salem State record of 24 rebounds in a game set by Edwina Ashe against Worcester State in 2001. Melissa Gray (Peabody, Mass.) paced the Owls with 19 points, 11 steals and nine rebounds.
Westfield led 45-36 at the half, but the Vikings repeatedly made their runs at the Owls.
With Westfield up 60-49 after an Alison Mendel (Adams, Mass./Hoosac) layup with 2:55 left in the third quarter, Salem State closed the quarter with a 9-2 run to trim the Owls' lead to 62-58 entering the fourth quarter.
The Owls extended the lead with a 13-0 run to open the fourth quarter, capped by a three-pointer from Cayla Durkee (Georgetown, Mass.) , but Salem sawed the lead back down to five points, at 77-72 after a Nicole Freddo (Marblehead, Mass//Tilton) layup with 4:28 left. From that point, the Owls' Chelsea Moussette (Southampton, Mass./Hamshire) and Durkee hit back to back three-pointers to push the Westfield lead back to 11 at 83-72, and the Owls made free throws down the stretch to preserve the lead and the win.
Westfield got balanced scoring with five players in double figures. Mendel netted 15 off the bench, connecting on 6-12 from the floor. Isabella Aitken (Pittsfield, Mass.) added 12 and Durkee 11, while Moussette finished with 10 points, nine assists and five steals.
Westfield State improves to 4-1 in the MASCAC and 7-11 overall. Salem State is now 4-13 and 1-5 in the League.
The Vikings received 21 points and six rebounds from Freddo.
Westfield forced 45 turnovers from the Vikings, but the Owls suffered through a 9-50 shooting performance from behind the three point arc. Westfield State finished 35-103 shooting in the fast paced game.
Salem State finished 29-69 (42 percent) from the floor, 2-4 from three point range, and 17-19 at the foul line. The Vikings out rebounded Westfield State 63-49 in the game.