Trailblazer Men ice cold in falling to Salem 101-76

Trailblazer Men ice cold in falling to Salem 101-76

Salem, MA- The MCLA Men's basketball came out ice cold and suffered a 101-76 setback to MASCAC rival Salem State in the conference opener for the Trailblazers.  MCLA drops to 3-11 on the season, while the Vikings improve to 1-1 in league play.

Apollos Wade (Taunton, MA) led six Salem State players in double figures, and the Vikings jumped out to a huge early lead and coasted to victory. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for SSU and improved its record to 8-6 on the season.

MCLA came out ice cold and hit just four of its first 26 shots. That enabled the Vikings to race out to a 30-10 lead with just over seven minutes remaining. Brian Clark (Deerfield, MA) scored three quick hoops to get the Vikings jump-started, and Hamed Akanni (Fitchburg, MA) scored five points in an 11-0 run to break the game open. MCLA scored just one field goal in a seven-minute span, as the Trailblazers shot 1-for-13 during that stretch.

MCLA warmed up toward the end of the period, making seven of their final 10 field goals, but the Vikings still held a commanding 48-26 advantage at the intermission.

Vernon Cross (Colonie, NY) single-handedly kept the Trailblazers within striking distance in the second half, as he scored 12 of MCLA's first 14 points and the SSU lead shrunk to 14, 57-43. However, Tavone Wynder (Boston, MA) righted the Vikings' ship, as he scored seven points in a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach. The Vikings punctuated the dominating performance with an alley-oop dunk by Clark on a feed from Wade, followed by another dunk in traffic by Andrew White (Medford, MA) to increase the lead to 84-62 with six minutes remaining.

The game was a chippy affair, with the teams being whistled for a combined 51 fouls, including five technical fouls. The Vikings shot 57% from the field and were 28-37 from the line, however they did commit 26 turnovers.

MCLA shot 35% from the field, and was just 5-21 from three-point range.

Wade led all scorers with 20 points, and he was joined in double figures by White (16 points), Clark (13 points), Wynder (12 points), Nate Simpson (Lowell, MA) - 11 points, and Akkanni (11 points).

Cross led the Trailblazers with 17 points, while Tyrell Mosley (Boston, MA) had 13, Michael Young (Boston, MA) had 12, and Tyriq Rochester (Orange, MA) had 10.

Salem State returns to the court on January 17, when the Vikings host Framingham State at 7:30 PM. MCLA returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Worcester State at 5:00 PM.