NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Lucy Tremblay scored a game-high 31 points but it wasn't enough as the Trailblazers fell to the visiting Salem State Vikings, 78-71, in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference opener for Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. With the setback, MCLA falls to 8-5 overall (0-1 MASCAC) while the Vikings improve to 8-6 (1-1 MASCAC).
In the opening half, Salem jumped out of the gates quickly, using a 17-4 spurt to start the contest. The Vikings drilled three triples in the spurt as they stretched out to their largest lead of the half. MCLA clawed back into it as Tremblay scored 11 straight points as the Trailblazers cut the deficit to 26-22 with 4:55 left til halftime.
Salem responded though outscoring MCLA 13-5 the rest of the half, including the final six points. Tremblay had 15 of the 27 Trailblazer points in the opening period.
The visitors scored the first six points of the second half to grab a commanding 45-27 lead with 18:40 to play. The hosts rallied though, but each time MCLA made a run, Salem found an answer.
With MCLA trailing 47-33, the Trailblazers went on an 8-0 run fueled by Tremblay to cut the lead to 47-41. Salem quickly responded with a 7-0 spurt to go back to a double-digit lead. A few minutes later, MCLA sliced the margin to 56-51 on a Kait Chenevert jumper only to see the Vikings extend once again.
The hosts had one last chance to rally after Salem grabbed a 66-56 lead. MCLA went on a 6-0 run to get within four, but a Valerie Smith lay-up stemmed the run. MCLA did not get any closer.
For Salem, they placed five players in double figures led by Sandra Lanier's team-high 18 points. Ashley White finished with 17 points, while Bridget Dullea collected a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards. Joining them in double figures were Rachel Ledbetter and Lara Bruni each with 10 points.
For MCLA, Tremblay was 12-26 from the floor including 5-11 from behind the arc for her 31 points. She filled the stat sheet with 10 rebounds, seven steals, and five assists. Johanna Miner and Chenevert each finished with 12.
MCLA was hampered by 25 turnovers in the loss.
The Trailblazers will host a non-conference match-up Thursday at 7 p.m. when they challenge Western Connecticut.