WESTFIELD – The Sage Colleges’ Megan Flynn (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.) scored 24 points and grabbed 25 rebounds to lead the Gators to an 87-84 win over Westfield State in a non-conference women’s basketball game at the Woodward Center on Saturday afternoon.
Sage (3-5) led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter, but Westfield provided a desperate rally to get back in contention late, trimming the lead all the way down to a single point, 85-84 on a Melissa Gray (Peabody, Mass.) three-pointer with three seconds left in regulation.
The Owls were forced to foul, and Flynn converted a pair of free throws with two seconds left for the final margin, as Westfield was unable to get off a desperation three as time expired.
Sage led 49-38 at the half after outscoring the Owls 27-13 in the second quarter as Westfield went cold from the floor, connecting on just five of 26 shots and just 1-11 from three-point range. The Gators were led by 11 points from Gessica Patregani (Troy, NY/Lansingburgh) and got eight points and 13 rebounds in the opening half from Flynn.
Westfield got nine first-half points from Chelsea Moussette (Southampton, Mass./Hampshire), who connected on 3-5 from long range.
Sage shot 60 percent from the floor (20-33) in the opening half.
Sage extended its lead all the way to 17 points and 64-47 on layup from Flynn with 2:28 left in the third quarter, and led 66-52 heading to the fourth quarter.
Westfield rallied midway through the fourth quarter, getting a steal and a three-pointer from Gray, then a another steal that led to a Gray layup to cut the lead to just 4 points at 75-71.
The Gators boosted the lead back to 11, going 5-6 at the line and getting a jumper from Powell.
Westfield (3-5) wasn’t done, sawing back into the lead with pressure defense and getting it down to three points, 82-79 on a free throw from Siobhan Moriarty (Danvers, Mass.). The Owls garnered the offensive rebound and got a clean look at a three pointer that could have tied the game from Gray with 38 seconds left but the shot wouldn’t go down.
Westfield forced 51 turnovers (the second most in school history) from the Gators, which the Owls converted into 48 points, but Sage held a 66-37 advantage in rebounds. The Gators shot 51.8 percent from the floor in the game, and held off the Owls’ rally with tremendous free throw shooting, connecting on 22 of 25 (88.8 percent) for the game.
Patregnani finished with 20 points, Madasyn Bush (Watervliet, NY) added 15, and Meghan Murray (Pottersville, NY/North Warren) chipped in nine points and 14 rebounds for the Gators.
Westfield was led by 22 points from Gray, who endured a rugged shooting day, connecting on 7-25 from the floor and 3-18 from long range. Gray did most of her damage late, with 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Gray finished with 14 steals, setting an Owls’ single game record (one better than Jen Ashton’s 13 against UMass Boston in 2011).
Moussette added 14 points and Alison Mendel (Adams, Mass./Hoosac) 12 for the Owls, who have dropped five straight after a 3-0 start to the season.
Westfield State launched a single-game record 58 three-point tries, but connected on 13 in shooting just 22 percent from behind the arc.
Westfield State will be back in action on Tuesday night, traveling to Smith College for a 7 p.m. start. – Courtesy of Westfield State University Sports