NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – MCLA freshman Quentin Gittens' jump shot at the buzzer in overtime lifted the Trailblazers to an 82-81 overtime win over Westfield State in a hard fought battle atop the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference at the Amsler Campus Center Gymnasium on Wednesday night. MCLA improves to 13-5 and more importantly remains unbeaten atop the MASCAC at 6-0. The Owls dip to 12-7 overall and 4-2 in the league.
With just 5 seconds left in overtime, Westfield's Brendon Hamilton converted a putback off a Malik Pouncy miss to give the Owls an 81-80 lead. After a timeout, MCLA's Ki-Shawn Monroe drove the court, ran into traffic at the foul line, but found Gittens in the short corner. His 12 footer found nothing but net to set off a wild celebration and give the home team the win.
The game featured ten lead changes and seven ties.
In regulation, Westfield's Pouncy converted on a triple with 2:29 remaining to knot things up at 72-72. From there, neither team could convert a game winner. Westfield had a chance for the final shot, but Jauch Green's jumper was blocked and the game went into OT.
Westfield led by as many as ten points in the opening half, but MCLA rallied and when Hayden Bird connected at the buzzer, it was 34-33 in favor of the Trailblazers. The second half saw MCLA lead most of the way, but Westfield came roaring back behind Green, Hamilton, and Pouncy setting up the frantic final minutes and overtime.
Chris Becker led all scorers with 19 points. He grabbed 6 boards and added 3 assists. Noah Yearsley ended with 18 points on 5-12 shooting from three point range. Monroe just missed a triple double with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 10 assists. Gittens ended with 10 points and 6 rebounds.
Westfield was paced by Hamilton's 19 points and 14 rebounds. Green tallied 18 points and 15 rebounds. Vawn Lord scored 15 points, but did most of his damage in the opening half of play.
Each team shot 37% while the Owls held a slim 55-49 rebounding advantage.
MCLA will look to stay perfect in conference play on Saturday when they host Bridgewater State.