Bridgewater, MA- The MCLA Trailblazers Men's basketball team dropped their sixth straight decision, falling to conference rival Bridgewater State 63-61. MCLA ends the regular season at 7-18, 4-8 in the conference while Bridgewater finishes at 14-10 overall, 8-4 in conference play.
Both teams have qualified for the MASCAC tournament. The Trailblazers will head to Worcester State on Tuesday night as the fifth seed.
MCLA led throughout most of the game after holding a slim 33-31 lead at halftime. The Trailblazers led by as many as nine in the opening half. Bridgewater asserted itself early on in the second half to claw its way back into the game.
The Bears briefly tied the game at 35 before MCLA scored four straight to push out to a 39-35 edge. Bridgewater used a 6-0 run to take their first lead of the night at 41-39 following a Michael Lofton lay up.
Each team would hold slim leads the remainder of the half setting up a hotly contested final minute. With the score tied at 59 all, each team had opportunities to score but came up empty until BSU's Samuel Johnson was fouled. He sank both free throws with 23 seconds left to put the Bears up 61-59.
MCLA's Bilal Shabazz came up empty with 10 seconds remaining forcing MCLA to foul Anthony Fortes with just four seconds left. He calmly drained both free throws putting the game out of reach. Shabazz connected on a layup at the buzzer for the final margin.
MCLA, which dropped its sixth straight game, was led by senior Tyrell Mosley's 12 points. Jamal Brown added a double double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, but was held to just two points in the second half. Chris Harris finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds.
The Bears were led by Johnson's 11 points and 12 rebounds. Fortes would finish with 10 points, while Michael Lofton came off the bench to score 10 points and pull down 7 boards.
The Trailblazers were doomed by 21 turnovers.
The MASCAC playoffs will begin on Tuesday night.