Courtesy of FSU Sports Information
Framingham, Mass.- Framingham State junior Raegan Mulherin (Baldwinville, Mass.) drained a three-pointer in the final seconds to take a 60-59 lead over MCLA and propel the Rams into the 2017 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Championship Game on Saturday afternoon.
The Rams (21-4) will travel to top-seeded Westfield State who defeated Bridgewater State in double-overtime this evening in the other MASCAC semi-final. The Championship game will take place on Saturday, February 23rd at 1:00 p.m. in a re-match of the 2016 MASCAC Tournament Final.
The Rams and MCLA played a seesaw contest that saw 10 ties and 9 lead changes and neither team led by more than six points all game. After a Monta Connolly (Lynn, Mass.) layup with just over two and a half minutes to play in the contest capped a 13-2 run by the Rams to retake the lead 57-52 the Trailblazers came surging back once again. The visitors rattled off a 7-0 run capped by a huge three pointer by Courtney Pingelski (Mechanicville, NY) to give them back the lead at 59-57 with 34 seconds to go.
On the next Rams possession MCLA blocked a three-point attempt but Framingham got the board and was fouled on the second chance attempt. The Rams missed both of their free throws and the Trailblazers grabbed the rebound. Coming out of a timeout the Rams forced a held ball call and got the turnover, called a timeout and set up Mulherin's game-winner.
The Rams received big performances from their senior class; Alycia Rackliffe (Feeding Hills, Mass.) led all scorers with 17 points and a game-high 11 boards in her double-double performance. Sarah Palace (Auburn, Mass.) scored 12 points going 2-of-4 from beyond the arc while Connolly added seven points. Mulherin contributed 10 points while Tiphani Harris (Revere, Mass.) added eight boards off the bench.
The Rams shot 34% from the floor and an uncharacteristic 15% from long-range. MCLA shot 35% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc. The Rams took advantage of MCLA's 20 turnovers with 23 points off turnovers to MCLA's 11.
The Trailblazers see their season close at 10-16 after nearly pulling off two straight upsets in the tournament. The game marked the final one in a Trailblazer uniform for seniors Kayla Hotaling, Courtney McLaughlin, Ashley Clawson, Anna Despart, Svetlana Morrell, and Brayleigh Hanlon.