NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Worcester State senior Meaghan O'Keefe scored 23 points and grabbed 23 rebounds in leading the Lancers to a hard-fought 54-51 win over the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Trailblazers. With the win, the Lancers even their record at 11-11 overall, but a solid 7-2 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference. MCLA drops to 8-13 and 0-8 in the conference.
O'Keefe had a monster second half, scoring 17 points. MCLA held a 31-24 lead at the half only to see Worcester claw back behind their senior center. With the hosts holding a 35-26 lead, the Lancers went on a 7-0 run capped by an O'Keefe triple making it 35-33 in favor of MCLA.
After a nip and tuck seven minutes of play, the score was knotted at 47 all after Danielle Scolpino knocked down a pair of free throws for the Trailblazers with just 3:12 remaining. Worcester grabbed the lead on Alyssa Jasper's lay-in following a nice pass from O'Keefe. Following an MCLA turnover, O'Keefe made one of two from the line to push Worcester to a 50-47 lead with only 1:19 left.
Worcester got a defensive stop, made two more free throws to make it 52-47 before Lucy Tremblay's three-point play cut the deficit to 52-50 with 27 seconds remaining. Forced to foul, O'Keefe sank the first, giving MCLA a chance to tie it. A Scolpino free throw brought MCLA to within two at 53-51. Meaghan Burns made the front end to give Worcester a three-point lead and MCLA's last 3-pointer was short, giving the Lancers the win.
MCLA will host Westfield State on Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m.