Salem, MA- After struggling to find the basket for three quarters, the MCLA women's basketball team used a strong fourth quarter effort to pull away from Salem State and earn a hard fought 57-46 win over the Vikings in MASCAC action. The win snaps a three game slide for the Trailblazers as they are now 6-7 overall and earn the first MASCAC win in moving to 1-2. The Vikings are now 8-8 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
MCLA led just 17-16 at halftime as both teams shot just 18% from the floor. At the end of three quarters the score was deadlocked at 33-33 heading to the final ten minutes of play. From there, the Trailblazers' duo of Karina Mattera and Kayla Hotaling took over. The duo scored 19 of the teams 24 points in the quarter as Hotaling took over early and Mattera closed the door.
Salem took a brief 36-33 lead on Kaitlin Bryan's triple to open the fourth before Hotaling would score 11 of the Trailblazers next 13 points to give MCLA the lead for good. The Trailblazers would lead 51-41 and were seemingly on their way, but the Vikings answered with five straight points with one minute remaining to get within 51-46. From there, Mattera would score the final six points of the game and keep the Vikings at bay.
Hotaling ended with 17 points and matched a career high with 19 rebounds in the win. Mattera ended with 19 points, which is a season high for the sophomore. Brayleigh Hanlon provided a second half spark with 7 points and 7 rebounds for MCLA. The Trailblazers overcame a 33% shooting night, but did shoot a respectable 46% in the pivotal second half.
The Vikings were paced by Norma Waggett's 14 points while Bryan ended with 11 in the loss. The Trailblazers defense forced 19 turnovers and held the Vikings to just 25% shooting.
The Trailblazers will look to make it back to back wins on Saturday when they host Framingham State at 3pm in the Amsler Campus Center.