Owls win MASCAC championship

WESTFIELD – Westfield State got 30 points and 12 rebounds from tournament MVP Jauch Green, Jr. (Hartford, Conn./Cromwell) as he helped led the Owls to the 2020 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference title with hard-earned 81-77 win over Worcester State in the championship game at the Woodward. Center on Saturday afternoon
Green scored 21 of his 30 in the first half, as the Owls battled some early shooting woes to hang in the game.
Worcester (15-12) led 42-41 at the half behind 15 points from Tyler Dion (Barre, Mass./Wachussett) and 10 from Chris Cardoso (Jamaica Plain/Natick, Mass.). The Lancers shot 7-14 behind the arc in the half. Worcester led by as many as 8 in the opening half, 33-25 but Owls rallied and grabbed lead on a Green drive and then a three-pointer that capped a 10-3 Owls run to lead 36-35.
Westfield (20-7) built a lead early in the second half, as Vawn Lord’s (West Springfield, Mass./Amherst) three-pointer gave the Owls a 57-52 lead and prompted a Worcester time out. The Owls led 66-58 on a Green three-pointer with 7:30 left in the game.
Worcester wasn’t done, and the Lancers climbed back into the game, tying it a73-all on Cardoso’s layup with 3:32 to play.
Westfield junior Justin Rennis (Springfield, Mass./Sabis) came up big down the stretch, giving the Owls the lead for good at 75-73 on a layup after a series of pump fakes in the post with 2:14 to play, and added the and-one free throw for a 76-73 Owls advantage.
After a Rennis steal and a missed shot, Green grabbed an offensive rebound and the Owls worked the ball around, finding Rennis in the paint for an emphatic two-handed slam which put Westfield up 78-73.
Worcester scored a four-point play with one minute left when Dion made a three pointer from right corner and was fouled, netting the free throw to trim the lead to one, 78-77. The Owls fed Lord inside for a layup to lead 80-77, then Dion missed a desperation three pointer on the ensuing possession, and Moody Bey (Springfield, Mass./ Monson) made 1-of-2 at the line to secure the win for the Owls.
Bey finished with 14 points and four assists, and Lord added 13 points. Malik Pouncy (Mattapan, Mass./Springfield Commonwealth Acad) finished with nine points and 11 rebounds. Rennis had eight points and seven rebounds to go with three steals.
Eric Bjorn (Holden, Mass./Wachussett) led Worcester with 20 points. Cardoso and Dion finished with 19 each, and Corey Oliver added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists.
With the win, the Owls will receive the MASCAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. – Courtesy of Westfield State University Sports

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