Westfield, MA- The Westfield State men's basketball team received a game high 31 points and 11 rebounds from Vawn Lord as the Owls took down the MCLA Trailblazers 89-73 in the regular season finale for both programs. The Owls clinch the top seed in next week's MASCAC tournament with the win as they end the season at 18-7 overall and 10-2 in the conference. The Trailblazers will either be the third or fourth seed in next week's conference championships pending other results in the MASCAC. MCLA finishes play at 14-10 overall and 7-5 in the MASCAC.
Lord was 10-20 from the floor and scored 21 of his points in the second half. He went 11-13 from the line as the Owls held a decisive FT advantage over MCLA. MCLA was just 3-8 from the charity stripe while the Owls converted 29-40 attempts.
MCLA never led in this contest as the Owls earned a split in the season series. Westfield jumped out to a sizable early lead at 15-4, but MCLA eventually fough their way back to tie things up at 22-22. The Owls would score the final four points of the opening half to take a 34-29 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the lead quickly grew to double figures. Later in the half, the Owls owned their largest lead of the night at 78-57 after a Lord three point play before MCLA made a final run in the final three minutes.
The Trailblazers went on a quick 12-0 spurt fueled by Noah Yearsley and Marius Turner to give the visitors some hope, still with two minutes to play. Lord converted another pair of FT's to stop the bleeding, but a Quentin Gittens basket cut it to nine points again. The Trailblazers had an opportunity to get closer after Lord missed a pair, but couldn't get a shot to go down. Forced to foul, MCLA sent Westfield's Malik Pouncey to the line and he easily converted the FT's to keep the Trailblazers at bay and give the hosts the senior day victory.
Jauch Green, Jr. added 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Owls. Moody Bey collected a double double of his own with 10 points and 10 boards for the hosts. Westfield owned a 58-45 rebounding edge over MCLA in the win.
The Trailblazers were led by Yearsley's team best 22 point night. He made five three pointers in defeat. Chris Becker and Gittens each ended with 12 points for MCLA.
MCLA will play either Fitchburg State or Salem State on Tuesday night at 6pm in the MASCAC quarterfinal round. The Owls will await a semifinal matchup on Thursday night.