North Adams, MA- The visiting Salem State women's basketball team received a game high 21 points from Norma Waggett as they earned their first MASCAC win of the season in a 59-53 win over the MCLA Trailblazers this afternoon. The Vikings (9-13, 1-8 MASCAC) ended a nine game slide in the process, while the Trailblazers (7-13, 2-7 MASCAC) suffered their fifth straight defeat.
The game was tied at the end of the first quarter as Kia Fernandes scored ten points for the Vikings and it was 13-13. They would extend the lead to 32-24 at halftime as Waggett heated up connecting for nine points, including a three pointer on the final possession of the half to give SSU the lead in the locker room.
The Vikings would lead the entire second half, but weren't able to pull away from MCLA. An opening basket in the third quarter gave them their largest lead of the night at 34-24 before the hosts mounted a rally. MCLA went on a 7-0 run fueled by Brayleigh Hanlon who had five points in the spurt to make it 34-31. The Vikings responded though as Waggett connected on a pair of FT's and when Kate Lipka drilled another three, it was 39-31 in favor of Salem. They would eventually take a 44-40 lead into the home quarter.
The lead was down to just two points at 46-44 after Kayla Hotaling's free throws, but Waggett once again answered with a jumper with 5:44 left to make it 48-44. MCLA got no closer than three points the rest of the way as Courtney McLaughlin made a pair at the line to get within 51-48 with under two minutes left, but Salem made one of two at the line, forced a turnover, and then Waggett connected again to put the game out of reach for MCLA.
Waggett was 7-19 from the floor and 3-6 from three point range for her game high 21 points. Kaitlyn Bryan added 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals for the victors. Fernandes added only one point after the first quarter but ended with 11 points. SSU shot 35% from the floor in the win and canned 9 shots from beyond the arc.
MCLA was paced by McLaughlin's team high 13 point night, but she was just 4-14 from the floor. She did add 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Hanlon and Hotaling each ended with 10 points apiece. They also each finished off the double double with 13 and 10 rebounds respectively. MCLA couldn't overcome a 30% shooting night and 16 turnovers.
The Trailblazers are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Framingham State.