North Adams, Mass. – Senior Manny Payton (Fitchburg, Mass.) tallied a game-high 23 points including a clutch three pointer to lead the Framingham State University men's basketball team to a hard fought 64-58 victory over the MCLA Trailblazers tonight in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action.
- Score: Framingham State 64, MCLA 58
- Records: Framingham State (4-14, 3-3 MASCAC), MCLA (4-14, 0-6 MASCAC)
- Location: North Adams, Mass.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Down the stretch, the game was tied at 56-56 following Hayden Bird's corner triple with 1:42 remaining setting the stage for Payton's heroics.
- The Rams took a 57-56 lead on a free throw from junior Tyri Hampton (Fitchburg, Mass.), but then Payton scored five straight points, including a clutch three with just 19 seconds left to increase the Ram lead to 62-56.
- MCLA would add a bucket from Mike Demartinis, but ultimately ran out of time.
- The opening half started slowly as both teams struggled offensively. MCLA led just 7-6 after seven minutes of action before the Rams used a 13-2 spurt to take their largest first half lead at 20-9 forcing a Trailblazer timeout.
- MCLA would answer though, using a 10-0 run to get back into it. When Hayden Bird drilled a three in transition, MCLA closed to within 20-19 with five minutes left till halftime.
- The Rams would eventually take a 30-27 lead into halftime as Manny Payton connected from downtown in the closing minutes for the visitors. Payton scored 14 of this team's 30 points in the opening half. Framingham shot just 41% in the half but they held MCLA to just 31% shooting.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Payton collected his 23 points on nine-of-19 shooting and added seven rebounds in the win.
- Freshman Matthew Rohelia added 15 points off the bench including five-of-six shooting from the free throw line. Sophomore Cameren McCloud-Thomas ended with 15 points and eight boards for the Rams, who shot 44% from the floor in the win.
- MCLA was paced by Demartinis who ended with a team best 19 points on eight-of--17 shooting. Ki-Shawn Monroe had a nice all-around game collecting 10 points, seven assists, and six rebounds in defeat. Bird would finish with 11 points for the Trailblazers.
- MCLA shot just 34% from the floor.
The Rams are back in action Saturday when they travel to Fitchburg State for a MASCAC contest at 12 p.m.
Release courtesy of MCLA Sports Information