Framingham, Mass.- The Bridgewater men's basketball held off a late second-half surge by the host Framingham State Rams to preserve a 69-64 win in MASCAC action Saturday afternoon in Framingham. With the win the Bears improve to 15-8 and 8-2 in league play. The Rams are now 6-18 and 2-9 in the MASCAC.
Prior to the contest the Rams honored their two seniors playing in the final regular season home game; Kenny Seitz (Milford, Mass.) and Ben Roache (Dighton, Mass.).
The Bears were led by Rocky DeAndrade (Mansfield, Mass.) who had a team-high 17 points and Dimitri St. Louis (Brockton, Mass.) who added 15 points. Rayshon Ward (Fayetteville, NC) recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Rams were paced by Charles Valbrun (Hyde Park, Mass.) who had a game-high 18 points shooting 7-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-6 from long range. Manny Payton (Fitchburg, Mass.) added 13 points while Seitz and Lorenzo Fernandes (Smithfield, RI) added ten each.
After a neck-and-neck first 15 minutes of play the Bears pulled away before the half. A Seitz trey for the Rams cut the Bears lead to 30-29 but the visitors snapped off a 13-3 run to end the half and head into the locker room up 43-32.
The Bears would lead by as much as 15 early in the second half and would hover around a ten point lead for most of the frame until the Rams made their charge in the closing minutes. Trailing by nine with just under four minutes to play Payton makes a layup and goes 2-of-3 from the line after being fouled to cut the deficit to 63-58. After a timeout FSU's James Purcell (Leominster, Mass.) blocks a Bears shot and scores a layup on the ensuing possession to trim the Bears lead to three points.
Ward hits a layup for the Bears and completes his three-point play to push the lead back to six. Valbrun is then fouled after his made layup with 32 seconds to play but could not hit his and-one attempt, the Bears secured the rebounded and were able to hold onto the lead after the Rams fouled.
The Rams shot 45 percent from the floor and 33 percent from beyond the arc. The Bears converted 46 percent from the field and 47 percent from long-range.
The Rams return to the court on Saturday, February 17th when they close the regular season at MCLA slated for a 3:00pm tip. The Bears will host Worcester State on Wednesday, February 14th at 7:30pm.