North Adams' Moulton Blocks Two Shots, MCLA Defense Stymies Utica

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - The MCLA women's basketball team cruised to their fifth straight victory on Wednesday, beating the Utica Pioneers, 62-36,in non league action.
 
The Trailblazer defense held Utica to just 23 percent shooting and forced 28 turnovers in the win.
 
Courtney McLaughlin once again paced MCLA (5-2) with a game-high 19 points. Kayla Hotaling ended the night by filling the stat sheet to the tune of 14 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and four blocked shots. Brayleigh Hanlon added 10 points off the bench, while Emily Moulton notched 5 points, but collected eight rebounds and a pair of blocks in her first start of 2015.
 
In the opening period, MCLA stormed out of the gates outscoring Utica 16-2 to begin the contest. The Pioneers (2-4) struggled with the Trailblazers' trapping halfcourt defense which forced eight first quarter turnovers. The visitors rallid in the second quarter, using a getting with seven at 18-11 after an Ashley Mayo 3-pointer, but MCLA countered with a 7-0 spurt capped by a Courtney McLaughlin runner to put them up 25-11. MCLA went to halftime with a 28-17.
 
After halftime, Utica quickly cut the lead to 29-21, but the hosts went on a 11-1 spurt to seize command and lead 40-22. The Pioneers wouldn't get closer than 16 the rest of the way and MCLA led by as many as 28 late in the fourth.
 
MCLA ended the night shooting 39 percent, which included a solid 50 percent over the closing periods.  They overcame some sloppy play themselves as they committed 24 turnovers.
 
The Trailblazers will look to continue their winning streak on Saturday when they host Simmons College at 1 p.m.
 
MEN'S BASKETBALL
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - MCLA's Khalil Paul scored a season high 24 points, but it wasn't enough as host Wesleyan held off the Trailblazers, 85-75, in non conference action Wednesday night.
 
The loss marked the fourth straight for MCLA as they drop to 2-5 on the season while the Cardinals won their fifth straight game improving to 5-1.
 
Paul was 9-18 from the floor for his 24 points. The senior added 7 rebounds and five assists. Joe Wiggins added 13 points while Careem Kirksey ended with 11. Dakari Hannah Wornum came off the bench to tally 10 points, 16 rebounds, and seven blocked shots.  The double double was his fourth this season.
 
The Cardinals punctuated the first half in style on Joseph Kuo's dunk as time ran out giving them a 45-31 lead at the break. MCLA didn't go quietly though as Paul scored 19 of his 24 points in the second half.  
 
The Trailblazers cut the deficit to five points at 52-47 after an 11-2 run was highlighted by a pair of Paul jumpers and capped by his three pointer.  Wesleyan responded and eventually pulled back in front by double digits at 69-55 with 8:16 left to play before MCLA staged one more rally.
 
MCLA committed 17 turnovers in the loss.
 
The Trailblazers have a week off before hosting WPI next Wednesday.
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