North Adams, MA- The MCLA Men's basketball team placed four players in double figures, but in the end could not keep pace with visiting Salem, falling 97-86. The loss drops MCLA to 8-12, 2-6 in the league while Salem improves to 6-13 overall, 5-2 in the league.
In a frantic pace, both teams had no trouble scoring points. MCLA's Brenden Kordana (Adams, MA) opened the game with consecutive three pointers to give the hosts a quick 6-0 advantage. The Vikings would climb back, however, and eventually take the lead at 12-10 on a three from Dan Clark. The trey would start a 12-2 run culiminating on a Justin Nieves three giving Salem a 21-12 edge.
MCLA would battle back to within five on a couple of occasions, but Salem would have an offensive answer each time. The Vikings would take a 50-42 edge into the locker room.
The second half was more of the same as the pace never slowed. After a Jon Greenberg (Antwerp, Belgium) layup made the score 57-48 with 16:36 remaining, Salem went on a 10-2 spurt to take a commanding 67-50 lead with 14:02 on the clock. Salem would maintain a double digit lead for the next several minutes.
A pivotal possesion occured late in the game as Salem led 81-70 with 5:35 to play. A Viking foul on a made free throw by Brian Clark put MCLA's Chris Harris (Dorchester, MA) on the line for two. After he missed the first, Salem's Nate Simpson was whistled for a technical foul. The Trailblazers Benny Cuprill (Troy, NY) proceeded to misfire on both attempts. Harris would also miss the back end of his attempts. With the opportunity to cut the lead to seven gone, MCLA was forced to push the pace even further.
Salem would push the lead back to 15 with just under three minutes to play. MCLA would get as close as 8 down the stretch, but never threaten the lead.
Salem placed six players in double figures with Brian Clark leading the way with 16 points. Also in double figures were Tavone Wynder (13), while Brennan Bennett, Justin Nieves, and Terry Carter all had 12. Simpson finished with 11 points
The Trailblazers were led by Harris' 24 points including 8-10 from the line. Greenberg finished with 15 before fouling out, while Kordana would also tally 15.
The game was marred by fouls as Salem was whistled for 27 fouls while MCLA accounted for 25.
Salem faces Westfield this weekend, while MCLA is off until next Tuesday when they travel to Westfield.