Framingham, Mass.- Framingham State junior Raegan Mulherin (Baldwinville, Mass.) hit a three-pointer to break a 68-68 tie with under a minute to play to lead the Rams to a 75-71 win over Westfield State Saturday afternoon in Framingham. The Rams extend their winning streak to seven straight and improve to 18-3 overall and 8-1 in MASCAC play. The Owls are now 14-8 and also 8-1 in the league as the two teams are tied for 1st place in the conference.
The Rams were led offensively by Mulherin who scored 19 points with 9 boards and 7 assists. Quinn O'Connell (Sterling, Mass.) scored 17 points, 15 of which were in the first half and Tiphani Harris (Revere, Mass.) added 11 points with 8 boards in the win. Senior center Alycia Rackliffe (Feeding Hills, Mass.) scored 8 points with a game-high 14 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
Senior Jill Valley (Orange, Mass.) scored 20 points adding 8 steals in the loss for the Owls. Lucy Barrett (Williamstown, Mass.) scored 15 points while Kierra McCarthy (Ludlow, Mass.) added 12 points and Kirsy Segarra (Holyoke, Mass.) tallied 11.
The two sides once again battled it out as the game saw 8 ties and 14 lead changes. With just under 3 minutes to play in the first half the Owls took the momentum when a Janaiya Sanchez (Springfield, Mass.) trey gave them a 38-28 lead. The Rams broke off an 8-0 run capped by an O'Connell trey to send the Rams to the locker room trailing by two.
The Rams came out of the break scoring the first 8 points to take a 44-38 lead early in the third. However, the Owls fought back as the two teams would change leads 4 times in the frame and enter the final period tied at 54.
Westfield opened up the 4th quarter with a 7-0 run featuring four points from Valley. The Rams clawed back with just about five minutes to go Mulherin drained a three to pull the hosts within 3. On the Owls ensuing possession Rackliffe blocked an Owls layup and Mulherin drained a layup on the other end to cut the score to 65-64 in favor of Westfield. On the next possession O'Connell grabs a steal and hits a layup in transition to give the Rams a 64-63 lead.
After trading baskets McCarthy drained a shot from long-range for Westfield to take a 68-66 lead with 1:48 to play. The Rams answered on the next possession with a Rackliffe layup to tie and a missed layup by the Owls set up Mulherin's trey to take a 71-68 lead with under a minute to play. Harris made the first of two free throws; the Owls got the rebound and called timeout to advance the ball. Barrett hit a three to cut the Rams lead to 72-71. The Owls were forced to foul and Harris again went 1-for-2 at the line. The Owls had a chance to tie in the final seconds but could not get convert as their layup did not fall. Rackliffe hit both of her free throws after being fouled to reach the final margin.
The Rams return to the hardwood on Wednesday, February 8th when they host MCLA on senior night at Framingham State. The Owls travel to Salem State on Saturday, February 11th in MASCAC action.