NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Westfield State University Owls clamped down defensively as they held the Trailblazers to just 24 percent shooting en route to a convincing 65-43 victory Tuesday.
The Owls improve to 15-8 overall and 7-3 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts falls to 8-14 overall, 0-9 in conference play.
The Owls set the tone defensively early on. The grabbed total command midway through the opening half and never looked back. Aside from holding the Trailblazers to poor shooting, they almost doubled up on the glass, owning a 59-30 edge in rebounding.
Westfield only placed a pair of players, Jen Ashton (12) and Briana Kelly (11), in double figures. They did have 10 players break into the scoring column though.
Westfield broke open a close game midway through the first half to take a 32-18 lead at the break. With the score at 16-11 in favor of Westfield, the Owls went on a 12-3 spurt fueled by four points each from Forbashaw Nkamebo and Angela Paterson. The teams would trade baskets into the locker room over the next two minutes to settle on the halftime score.
The second half was more of the same for the Owls. They quickly scored the first six out of the locker room to grab a 38-18 lead with 16:22 left. The lead would swell to 28 points at 53-25 at the 9:35 mark. MCLA never got any closer than the final margin.
The defensive effort by the Owls held Trailblazer leading scorer Lucy Tremblay to just seven points on 2-18 shooting. That included an 0-10 performance from behind the arc.
MCLA was led offensively by Kaitlyn Chenevert's game-high 16 points. No other Trailblazer reached double figures.
MCLA will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Framingham State.