North Adams, MA- The visiting Worcester State women's basketball team overcame a tough night at the free throw line and held off a charging MCLA squad as the Lancers handed the Trailblazers a 63-54 loss in the MASCAC opener for both schools. The Lancers improve to 5-7 on the season and are 1-0 in the league. MCLA drops to 5-6 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
Worcester led the entire way leading by as many as 17 and early in the fourth quarter they were up 51-36 before the hosts began to rally. MCLA used an 8-0 spurt to claw within 51-44 with 3:25 left to play in the game. WSU's Catherine Sweeney stopped the run with a three point play to put the Lancers back up nine, however MCLA just wouldn't go away.
MCLA's Kayla Hotaling converted six points in a row for the Trailblazers while the Lancers missed some free throws to stay in it. When Hotaling drove to the basket with 39 seconds left, it was just 57-52 in favor of WSU. Forced to foul, MCLA sent Kate Suprenant to the stripe and she calmly drained a pair to keep MCLA at bay. They would get no closer the rest of the way.
The Lancers went just 15-31 from the free throw line compared to a 16-22 showing for the Trailblazers. Both teams struggled from the floor as WSU shot 39% while they held MCLA to just 29% shooting.
WSU was paced by Brianna Hackett's 17 points which included four triples. Kaitlyn Berkel filled the stat sheet with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, and 2 steals in the win. Catherine Sweeney added 9 points and 5 assists off the bench for the Lancers.
MCLA was paced by Hotaling's 17 point, 11 rebound effort. She did most of her damage in the second half as she was held to just one point in the first half. Ashley Clawson added 11 points before fouling out and Sam Gawron added 10 points for the Trailblazers.
MCLA will be back at home on Saturday when they host Westfield State at 3pm.