MCLA Men Win on Road After Long Layoff

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WESTFIELD, Mass. -- The MCLA men's basketball team Monday returned to play after a lengthy 36-day layoff as they traveled to face Westfield State.  
 
The Trailblazers came out firing and never looked back as they earned a key 79-64 win over the Owls. Noah Yearsley scored a season best 26 points and MCLA was great from 3-point range as they went 13-28 from beyond the arc.
 
MCLA (6-6 overall) earned their first win of the conference slate as they're now 1-0. The Owls dropped to 12-4 overall and sit at 2-2 in the conference.
 
The Trailblazers never trailed in this one as they held Westfield without a basket for the opening four minutes to open up a quick 8-1 lead.  MCLA's Jojo Garcia drilled a 3-pointer, and when Bright Afful made a layup, the lead was 15-4.  MCLA settled on a 34-24 halftime lead as Garcia and Yearsley combined for 25 points.
 
In the second half, Westfield made a run fueled by a Brendon Hamilton dunk to cut the lead to 47-40, but Drury graduate Hayden Bird completed a four-point play to extend the lead back to double digits at 51-40, still with eleven minutes to play. That play started an 8-0 spurt that gave MCLA a commanding 55-40 lead.
 
Westfield got no closer than 13 the rest of the way as MCLA answered every challenge to earn the win.
 
Yearsley led all scorers with his 26-point night.  He was 9-for-16 from the floor and 5-for-8 from three point land. He added 10 rebounds to complete the double-double. Bird heated up in the second half to end with 16 points. He made five 3-pointers in the win and just missed a double double of his own with nine rebounds.
 
MCLA shot 43% from the floor and 46% from three point range.
 
Westfield was paced by Kumar Brown's 14 point effort on 6-9 shooting.  Hamilton added 8 points but a game best 14 boards in defeat.
 
The Owls were set back by a 35% shooting night and just 9-17 from the FT line.
 
MCLA is back in action Wednesday night when it hosts MASCAC front-runner Salem State at 7:30 p.m.
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MCLA to Hold Annual Educator Recognition Awards Event

NORTH ADAMS, Mass.—Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), in collaboration with the Berkshire County Superintendents' Roundtable, will hold its annual Educator Recognition Awards event on Thursday, May 26, 2022, from 4:30-6 p.m. in Murdock Hall Room 218 on MCLA's campus.  
 
This award was created to honor the region's exceptional educators. This year's awardees are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to education throughout the pandemic. 
 
The event is free and open to the public, and a virtual attendance option is available.  
 
 Those who would like to attend can register at https://forms.office.com/r/5KMZAQ7Lpe
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