Salem, MA- Salem State junior Kia Fernandes amassed a monster double double of 26 points and 21 rebounds while teammate Norma Waggett added 13 points and 11 boards to lead the Vikings to a 58-47 MASCAC win over MCLA Wednesday night from Twohig Gymnasium. The Vikings split the season series as they improve to 9-16 overall and are 5-7 in the conference.
MCLA suffered a setback to their playoff hopes with the loss as they drop to 6-17 overall and are 2-9 in the league. The Trailblazers have lost six straight games and will need a win plus some help on Saturday to make the conference tournament.
The Vikings never trailed in this one as Fernandes and Waggett started out hot and never slowed. SSU led 17-12 after one quarter and then midway through the second quarter, MCLA rallied to tie the game at 23-23. From there though, it was all Salem.
The Vikings went on a 7-0 spurt to close the first half to head into the locker room with a 30-23 advantage. They would score the first six points of the second half to move out to a 36-23 lead after Fernandes' three point play. The Trailblazers would get within seven points at 40-33 after L'Rae Brundige's basket, but once again the Vikings would go on a run to end the quarter. This time, they used a 10-2 spurt over the final three plus minutes to take a 50-35 lead into the home fourth quarter.
The lead grew to 19 points early in the fourth quarter as MCLA would get no closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Fernandes was 9-17 from the floor and 8-12 from the free throw line for her game high 26 point night. Of her 21 rebounds, 8 were on the offensive end. She added 3 blocked shots for the Vikings. Waggett was just 4-16 from the floor, but did go 5-6 from the stripe. Brianna Rodriguez collected 7 points, but ended with 5 assists and 7 steals in the win. Salem shot just 32% from the floor including just 1-17 from three point range.
Mckenzie Robinson was the lone Trailblazer in double figures with 11 points on 5-12 shooting. MCLA ended with 20 turnovers and shot just 28% in the loss.
The Trailblazers will celebrate senior day on Saturday prior to tip off against Framingham. The game marks the final home tilt for lone senior Emily Moulton. Tip is scheduled for 1pm.