BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Bridgewater State University women's basketball team opened Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) play with a 76-42 victory over visiting MCLA on Saturday afternoon at the Tinsley Center.
The Bears improve to 5-9 (1-0 MASCAC) on the season with their third consecutive win, while the Trailblazers fall to 2-9 (0-1 MASCAC) with their seventh straight setback. Bridgewater is now 71-8 all-time versus MCLA dating back to the 1983-84 campaign. The Bears have also won each of the last 19 meetings between the two teams.
Junior center Destiny Fitzgerald (Medford, Mass.) tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and a pair of steals to lead Bridgewater State. BSU freshman guard Kylee Piché (Bridgewater, Mass.) added five points, a career-high ten rebounds (three offensive), four assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
The Bears also received outstanding production from the bench as the BSU reserves outscored MCLA, 47-42. Sophomore guard Hannah Dziadyk (Wakefield, Mass.) notched 12 points, four assists and two rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench, while freshman guard Sydney Bradbury (East Bridgewater, Mass.) registered 11 points and five boards in 17 minutes. Freshman guard Ainsley Jolin (Rehoboth, Mass.) filled the stat sheet with nine points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals in 24 minutes.
Senior center Erika Ryan (Clifton Park, N.Y.) recorded a double-double with a game-high 12 rebounds and 11 blocked shots to pace MCLA. Ryan was just two points shy of a triple double as she finished with eight points on the afternoon. Senior guard Kylah Langston (East Hartford, Conn.) added nine points, four assists and a pair of steals for the Trailblazers.
Despite missing their first ten shots of the game, the Bears dominated the first quarter as they limited the Trailblazers to just two field goals and led 18-5 after one. Bridgewater carried the defensive momentum into the second quarter as it held MCLA scoreless for the first four-plus minutes of the session. The Bears used a 10-0 run to open up a 23 point lead (28-5) before a late Trailblazer surge made it a 32-15 game at the break.
Bradbury, Jolin and senior guard Nicole Bostick (East Taunton, Mass.) tallied five points apiece to pace Bridgewater State in the first half, while Langston scored seven points and Ryan added six for MCLA.
The Bears used a 13-2 run over the final 4 ½ minutes of the third quarter to open up a 27-point lead at 54-27. The spurt was highlighted by a pair of three-pointers by Dziadyk. Bridgewater maintained at least a 20-point advantage throughout the fourth quarter and the final score of 76-42 marked the biggest lead of the game.
The Bears shot 37% (26-70) for the game and went 6-for-20 (30%) from behind the arc and 18-for-23 (78%) at the free throw line. The BSU defense forced 32 turnovers on the afternoon which led to a 28-8 advantage in points off turnovers. The Bears also finished with the edge in points in the paint (36-20), second chance points (12-2) and bench points (47-12).
The Trailblazers connected on 31% (17-55) of their field goal attempts including 4-for-16 (25%) from three-point range. MCLA also went just 4-for-14 (29%) at the charity stripe.
The MASCAC schedule continues for both teams on Tuesday evening at 5:30. The Bears travel to Salem State University to take on the Vikings, while the Trailblazers entertain the Falcons of Fitchburg State University.