North Adams, MA- Visting Salem State placed five players in double figures led by Sean Bryan's 20 point effort off the bench as the Vikings remained unbeaten in MASCAC play with a hard fought 88-77 win over MCLA in the Amsler Campus Center Gym. The Vikings improve to 16-3 on the season and are a perfect 6-0 in the league. MCLA drops to 5-11 overall and is 2-3 in the league.
Bryan scored 13 of his 20 points in a pivotal second half in which the Vikings pulled away late. He was 5-12 from the floor but a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line. Tyreik McCauley notched 17 points and pulled down 9 rebounds while Drew Healy had a double double effort of 14 points and a game best 17 rebounds. Shaquan Murray ended with 11 points while Jacob Lindland added 11 for Salem.
With just five minutes left to play, the score was tied at 70-70. Bryan drilled a three pointer to begin the Vikings 8-0 run. McCauley scored on a nice finish at the rim and Healy converted a three point play with 2:32 remaining to make it 78-70 in favor of Salem. Conquest netted a putback for MCLA to stem the run, however Salem answered with six straight points to extend to their largest lead of the night at 84-72 with just 58 seconds left. A three pointer by MCLA's Noah Yearsley gave the hosts some hope, but Salem went 6-6 from the line in the final minute to remain well in front and earn the win.
Up until the final five minute stretch, neither team led by more than six points. The game featured 18 lead changes and 11 ties as both teams went up and down the floor trading blows. Salem led 44-43 at halftime when Bryan was fouled with 0.3 left on the clock and knocked down both FT's.
The Vikings ended the night shooting 40% from the floor and overcame 17 turnovers in the win.
MCLA was led by Adam Conquest who finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Noah Yearsley added 13 points while battling foul trouble. Joe Wiggins and Ki-Shawn Monroe each ended in double figures with 11 points each.
The Trailblazers shot 45% from the floor and had 16 turnovers in the loss.
Both teams shot well from three point range as the Vikings connected on 10-21 attempts from three point land while MCLA was 8-21. The Vikings held a decisive edge at the free throw line converting on 24-29 attempts while MCLA was just 7-11.
MCLA is back in action on Thursday as they head to Framingham State to continue league play. The Vikings are off until Saturday when they challenge Worcester State.