Trailblazers Return to Top Conference Spot With Win
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Trailblazers used a 15-0 run to start the second half to defeat the Framingham State University Rams, 65-56, Sunday afternoon in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference game at Framingham's Athletic Center.
With the victory the Trailblazers improve to 12-11 on the year and 8-2 in the conference. The victory also secures MCLA a top-two finish in the league as they pulled into a first-place tie with Westfield State. Both squads have a pair of league games remaining.
The Rams fall to 8-16 overall and 1-10 in the conference.
John Jones recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds as he connected on 7-of-12 from the line. Sophomore Ruben DelRosario was the only other Trailblazer to reach double figures as he scored 10. Senior Vernon Cross, freshman Paul Maurice and junior Ramon Viches scored nine points each for MCLA.
The Rams were led by senior guard Rico DePaolis, who tallied a game-best 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field including 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Tyrone Figueroa scored 16 points, while sophomore Patrick Cuff grabbed a team-high 11 boards.
The Trailblazers used a pair of runs, one in each half to secure the victory. With the Rams leading 10-9 just over four minutes into the game, MCLA rattled off a 12-2 run capped by a Viches jumper to take a 21-12 lead. The Rams chipped away at the lead and cut the gap to two at the half as freshman Justin Bryan was fouled on a 3-pointer attempt as time expired. Bryan sank all three free throws, cutting MCLA's lead to 30-28.
The Trailblazers opened the second half with their second run, a 15-0 spurt, to take the game's largest lead at 45-28. Figueroa ended the run with the Rams first field goal of the half, a three at 15:05 and followed that up with a layup in traffic.
The Rams cut the lead to seven on a Tim McCarthy bucket with 1:10 remaining in the game, but that was as close as they would get as Jones sank a pair of free throws in the final minute.
The Rams return to action on Tuesday night when they host Westfield State in a MASCAC game beginning at 8 p.m., while the Trailblazers travel to Fitchburg State on Tuesday evening in a MASCAC matchup at 7:30 p.m.