Worcester, MA- The sixth seeded MCLA women's basketball team received a game high 22 points from Courtney McLaughlin (Pittsfield, MA), while teammate Kayla Hotaling (Ravena, NY) added 20 in leading the Trailblazers past the third seeded Worcester State Lancers 64-54 this evening in the Quarterfinal round of the MASCAC championships. With the win, the Trailblazers (10-15) advance to face the #2 seed, the Framingham State Rams Thursday night at 6pm in Framingham.
The Lancers end their season at 12-14.
McLaughlin was 8-21 from the floor and connected on a pair of three pointers for her 22 point night. Hotaling was 9-20 for her 20 point night. She would complete the double double with 11 rebounds. The duo combined for 24 of their teams 36 points in the second half.
Worcester State led 30-28 at halftime, but MCLA quickly tied it up before the Lancers held their final lead at 38-35 on a Bianca Langford layup. At that point, MCLA went on an 11-0 spurt at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth to take a 46-38 lead. McLaughlin started the run with a triple and Hotaling made back to back hoops. The duo scored all eleven points in the pivotal run.
Worcester State wouldn't go quietly twice cutting the deficit to four points at 52-48 and then for the last time at 58-54, but that was with just 1:29 left to play. McLaughlin would miss a jumper giving the Lancers hope, however Hotaling rejected a Kate Suprenant attempt and MCLA corralled the rebound with just 48 seconds left to play.
With the Trailblazers in control and in possession, they would keep Worcester State at bay by going 6-8 from the free throw line while limiting to the Lancers on the defensive side to preserve the victory.
Worcester State swept the season series with the Trailblazers in low scoring affairs, however in this one the teams came out flying. MCLA shot a sizzling 61% in the opening quarter as they opened up an 18-14 lead, however the Lancers would control the second quarter and take the slim 30-28 lead into the locker room. The game would ultimately feature six ties and six lead changes.
The Lancers were paced by Kaitlyn Berkel's team high of 18 points. Catherine Sweeney was outstanding off the bench scoring 16 points and pulling down 7 rebounds. Britt Herring added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Worcester State in the loss.
MCLA shot 43% from the floor in the win. The Trailblazers had a season low 7 turnovers in the win as they forced 12 from the Lancers.
The Trailblazers move on to face Framingham State who swept the season series from MCLA earlier this season.