North Adams, MA- The MCLA Men's basketball team rallied from a second half deficit to edge out MASCAC foe Fitchburg State University 84-79 this afternoon in the James T. Amsler Campus Center Gym. MCLA improves to 3-2 in the conference, 6-12 overall. The Falcons drop to 1-4 in the league, 9-7 overall.
The action was fast paced all afternoon. Fitchburg held their largest lead of the second half at 66-58 following a 6-0 run with 10:32 remaining. MCLA would respond though and on the heels of a 9-2 burst pull within one at 68-67 just three minutes later. Neither team would lead by more than five the rest of the way.
Fitchburg did hold the lead for most of the half until MCLA eventually taking a slim one point advantage on a Jamal Brown layup with 3:13 to play. The teams would trade small leads until the game was tied at 78 following a Fitchburg hook shot from Zach Valliere with 44 seconds left.
Following an MCLA timeout, Trailblazer Tyrell Mosley banked home an off balance runner on the left wing for a two point lead. Fitchburg's Tom Henneberry, who had a game high 25 points, had his shot blocked on the other end by Chris Harris and Mosley secured the rebound. Forced to foul, the Falcons sent Mosley to the line, and he calmly drained a pair of free throws stretching the lead out to 82-78.
After a made free throw by the Falcons cut the lead to three, a lane violation on a free throw gave MCLA possession back. A full court pass and layup from Brown accounted for the final margin.
A back and forth opening twenty minutes saw MCLA jump out to a 13-4 lead after Tyrell Mosley connected from beyond the arc just four minutes into play. Fitchburg would rally though as Tom Henneberry came off the bench and ignited a 19-8 run to give the Falcons their first lead of the half at 23-21. Henneberry had 12 points in the spurt, including a pair of three pointers.
After trading scores and the score tied at 23 apiece, MCLA went on a 13-5 run to take a 36-28 lead before the Falcons answered once again. This time the visitors used a 14-3 run to take a 42-39 lead just seconds before halftime. MCLA answered at the buzzer when Ramon Viches knocked down a three to tie the game at intermission.
Brown finished with a team high 22 points and 9 rebounds. He was 11-16 from the floor. Mosley chipped in with 14 points. Michael Young had 9 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals for MCLA who shot 49% on the night.
The Falcons Henneberry connected on 9-19 for his 25 points. He was 4-9 from behind the arc. Fitchburg placed three others in double figures. Mike Ingram-Rubin had 18 points and Valliere had 12. Jeremy Kimber filled up the stat sheet, finishing with 10 points, 6 blocks, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Fitchburg was hurt by a poor performance at the free throw line as they shot just 13-24 (54%).
MCLA will host Bridgewater State in a key matchup on Wednesday night at 7:30pm.