North Adams, MA- The MCLA Women's basketball team overcame a seven point halftime deficit to earn a hard fought 63-60 win over visiting Salem State University tonight in the Amsler Campus Center Gym. Courtney Pingelski led the Trailblazers with a team high 14 points.
MCLA earned their second straight win as they improved to 6-11 overall and are now 2-3 in the conference. Salem State falls to 7-12 overall and sits at 3-3 in the league.
The Vikings led 32-25 at halftime, but MCLA used a strong third quarter outscoring the Vikings 21-11 to enter the final period leading 46-43. MCLA would push out to their largest lead of the night with 6:35 left to play as they held a 53-45 advantage. The Vikings would not go quietly however over the final few minutes of action.
With the score at 57-49 after MCLA's Mckenzie Robinson converted a pair of free throws, Salem would outscore MCLA 11-4 over the next six minutes to pull within one at 61-60. Norma Waggett had six points in the spurt and when Kia Fernandes drove the floor, the Vikings were within a point with still 1:41 left to play.
In a bit of a statistical oddity, MCLA never gave up possession over the next 1:24 as they snagged three offensive rebounds and Salem was whistled for a turnover keeping possession with MCLA. Finally, with just 17 seconds left, Trailblazer Erika Ryan converted a putback to make it 63-61 forcing a Viking timeout.
Salem needed a three pointer to tie, but Fernandes' triple was off the mark and Salem wasn't able to corral the rebound giving the hosts the hard fought win.
Waggett and Fernandes each ended with 17 points. Waggett completed the double double with 10 rebounds while Fernandes added 8 of her own. They were the only Vikings in double figures. Salem shot just 35% from the floor and were just 18-29 from the FT line.
MCLA was led by Pingelski's team high of 14 points. She added 8 rebounds to lead the team. Ryan ended with 9 points and 8 rebounds while Mckenzie Robinson netted 11 points and had 4 assists. MCLA overcame 26 turnovers in the win and shot 47% from the floor.
The Trailblazers will go for three straight wins as they head to Framingham State on Thursday night.