By Adam Pasquale
The Worcester State Women’s Basketball Team bested Framingham State in the semifinals of the 2019 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Women’s Basketball Championship on Thursday night.
The Lancers entered the game as the number-one seed as they finished with a 19-6 regular season record, while Framingham State had the number-four seed after finishing the regular season at 16-9. This game was a battle between two of the top teams in the MASCAC, and the energy could be felt all around campus as students awaited the 7 p.m. tipoff.
Worcester State dominated the first quarter of play as they got off to a quick 24-12 lead. The Lancers were hustling up and down the court, diving for all loose balls and showing significant intensity on defense. Junior guard Catherine Sweeney finished the game with a triple-double (20 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists) but her hard defensive efforts in the early stage of the contest spiked the team’s intensity to another level.
Intensity on defense was a big factor in the game, according to sophomore guard Colleen Cutting.
“Our team takes pride in our defense,” she said via text. “With a team like Framingham that is very guard oriented you have to be going 100 percent on defense from the start to the end because you can’t allow them to get hot.”
The Lancers executed that game plan to perfection as they only allowed Framingham State to shoot for a disappointing 35.9 percent from the field.
The second quarter took off right where the first one ended. Back-to-back big blocks by Sweeney and senior center Brittany Herring to start the second quarter ignited the fans and brought everyone to their feet. It was another physical quarter of basketball where the refs were letting the women play. At half, the Lancers lead 41-25.
Spectator Scott Kilcoyne, a Worcester State sophomore, was quick to notice the hard defense being played by Worcester State, and he said he knew the outcome of the game from the very start.
“From the jump the Lancers were electric,” Kilcoyne said. “All of the girls on the court were giving it their all on both sides of the floor, and when you are playing that well in such an intense environment it’s hard to bet against that team. It was clear to everyone that the Lancers were the bigger and more physical team, which is the main factor in why they were able to win so easily.”
The Lancers continued their dominance all throughout the third and fourth quarters, ultimately winning the game by a final score of 81-64. It was an extraordinary defensive performance that was capped off by a substantial team effort offensively. Brittany Herring, Catherine Sweeney, senior Kate Surprenant, and Colleen Cutting combined to score 63 of the 81 total points scored for the team. If the Lady Lancers can bring the same energy and effort into the Championship game then it’s hard to imagine anyone getting in the way of the school’s first ever MASCAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship.
The team will face off against Westfield State in the Championship game this Saturday, Feb. 23. It will be held at Worcester State and tipoff is set for 1 p.m.