Men's Basketball Holds Off Fitchburg State, 81-72

Men's Basketball Holds Off Fitchburg State, 81-72

FITCHBURG, Mass. – Senior forward Dimitri St. Louis (Brockton, Mass.) scored a career-high 28 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds to lead the visiting Bridgewater State University men's basketball team to an 81-72 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) victory over Fitchburg State University on Wednesday night at Parkinson Gymnasium.

Bridgewater State improves to 5-11 on the season and 2-2 in the MASCAC, while Fitchburg State falls to 7-10 overall and 1-3 in conference play. The Bears are now 70-30 all-time versus the Falcons as the game marked the 100th recorded meeting of the two teams.

St. Louis connected on 9 of 18 field goal attempts, including 3-for-6 from behind the arc, and went 7-for-9 at the free throw line. He also added three steals and six of his 14 boards came off the offensive glass. The double-double marked St. Louis' eighth straight and team-leading 11th of the season.

Senior forward Rayshon Ward (Fayetteville, N.C). checked in with 23 points and ten rebounds for the Bears. Ward went 8-for-15 from the floor and 5-for-5 at the charity stripe as he notched his seventh double-double of the season. Senior guard Ryan Carney (Easton, Mass.) added 12 points, six rebounds and three assists for the visitors, while sophomore guard Jose Monteiro Jr. (Brockton, Mass.) tallied eight points on 4 of 4 shooting in 16 minutes off the bench.

The first 12 minutes of the contest featured five ties and five lead changes with the final lead change coming on a layup by BSU sophomore guard Alan Pettway (Worcester, Mass.) with 8:40 remaining in the first half which gave the Bears a 17-16 advantage. Bridgewater would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way.

The Bears led 40-30 at the break and held a 65-53 advantage following a Ward three-pointer with 9:03 left to play. A 7-0 Fitchburg run capped off by a traditional three-point play by freshman guard Xavier Betancourt (Tampa, Fla.) cut the deficit to five (65-60). Bridgewater, however, answered with nine straight points including a pair of layups from Monteiro Jr, and a St. Louis trifecta to make it a 14-point game, 74-60, with 4:22 remaining.

The Falcons would not go down quietly as the hosts scored 11 of the next 14 points, highlighted by six from Betancourt, to close the gap to six (77-71) as the clock ticked under a minute. That would be as close as they would get, however, as the Bears converted 4 of 6 free throws over the final 47 seconds to help secure the 81-72 victory.

Betancourt pace Fitchburg State with 14 points, three rebounds and five assists. Freshman center Keegan Sharp (Townsend, Mass.) added 12 points and five boards for the Falcons, while junior guard Anthony Diaz (Harrisburg, Pa.) tallied 12 points and four rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.

The Bears shot 45% (30-66) for the game and went 7-for-23 (30%) from behind the arc and 14-for-16 (88%) at the free throw line. The Falcons connected on 48% (30-63) of their field goal attempts, but went just 1-for-18 from three-point range.

The MASCAC schedule continues for both teams on Saturday afternoon. The Bears entertain Framingham State University at three, while the Falcons host Worcester State University at two.

Notes: Ward (1,247 pts.) moved into 17th place on the Bears' all-time scoring list.