Salem, Mass.. – Salem State opened the second half on a 15-4 run to break open a close game with Framingham State as the Vikings pulled away for a 93-67 victory in MASCAC action on Saturday afternoon at Twohig Gymnasium. With the win Salem State improves to 19-3 and 9-0 in the MASCAC. The Rams fall to 6-16 and 2-7 in league play.
Salem State placed five players in double figures, led by Shaquan Murray's (Boston, Mass.) 16 points and Drew Healy (Lowell, Mass.) who registered 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Manny Payton (Fitchburg, Mass.) had 23 points for Framingham State, with 19 coming after halftime.
Salem State started fast and pulled away early. Following an opening jumper by Charles Valbrun (Hyde Park, Mass.), the Vikings quickly opened a 9-2 lead following baskets from four different players. Leading 14-7 after a Tyreik McCauley (Worcester, Mass.) layup, the Vikings went up 20-9 following scores by Murray and Temitope Bailey (West Springfield, Mass.). Murray's 10th point of the half grew the margin to 30-11 as the Rams went nearly four minutes without scoring a point. Despite trailing by 16 points, Framingham State managed to cut into the deficit after a made field goal and free throw by Tyri Hampton (Fitchburg, Mass.) with 1:45 left. Valbrun, who had 10 first half points, brought the Rams even closer with a three-pointer in the final seconds as the Rams ended the half on an 11-4 run. Murray closed the first with 12 points as Salem State, which had been shooting 58% from the field, cooled off late, finishing 16-40 (40.0%) from the floor. The Rams recovered from a slow start to make 12-26 (46.2%) field goals.
A Payton bucket closed the lead to just single digits before the Vikings responded, outscoring Framingham State by 11 points over a six-minute spurt with a three-pointer by Sean Bryan (Lowell, Mass.) making the margin 20 points, 58-38. Bryan, who went 3-for-3 from three-point range in the second half to finish with 13 points, scored seven points in a row for Salem State to help build the advantage to 30 at 76-46 with 8:18 remaining. An Oliver Benner (South Boston, Mass.) layup gave Salem State its largest lead, 86-54 late in the half before the Vikings settled for a 26-point victory, 93-67.
Jacob Lindland (Hamilton, Mass.) had 13 points off the bench for Salem State, which outscored the Rams' reserves 45-22. Alex Santos (Lawrence, Mass.) finished with 12 points as the Vikings shot 37-75 (46.7%) form the field and 12-26 (46.2%) from behind the arc. Salem State forced 17 Framingham State turnovers which they converted into 25 points.
Valbrun was held scoreless in the second half and was the only other player in double figures for the Rams, who shot 27-58 (46.6%) from the field, but just 2-10 (20.0%) from three-point range.
The Rams return to the hardwood on Wednesday, February 7th when they host Westfield State at 8:00 p.m.