WSU Holds On To Top Framingham, 72-66

Westfield freshman Tayler Travis powers to the basket while teammate Forbasaw Nkamebo looks on. Defending on the play is Framingham’s Kia Minor, who scored her 1,000th career point late in the game. (Photo by Mickey Curtis)

WESTFIELD – Sophomore guard Jen Ashton had 18 points, six assists and five steals to lead Westfield State University to a hard-earned 72-66 MASCAC victory over Framingham State University on Saturday afternoon.
Westfield improved to 3-2 in the conference and 11-7 overall. Framingham is 3-3 and 10-6.
The Owls never trailed in the game but they had trouble putting away the pesky Rams, who closed to within four points, 68-64, on a 3-pointer with 1:06 remaining by senior guard Madeleine Park, who scored a game-high 21 points. Westfield canned four free throws in the final 29 seconds to pull out the victory.
The Owls made 12 of their first 15 field goal attempts (80 percent) to take an early 11-point lead. Westfield finished the first half shooting 60 percent (15 for 25) but the only led at the break, 38-34.
Park and senior Kia Minor both scored 11 first-half points to keep the Rams in the game, while Samantha Irvine added eight markers.

Westfield’s Jenny Bell attempts to make a layup while being heavily guard by Framingham’s Samantha Irvine. (Photo by Mickey Curtis)

Minor, a 5-7 senior forward from Edgartown (Martha’s Vineyard HS) scored her 1,000th career point on her first of two made free throws with 1:07 remaining in the game.
Minor was the game’s second leading scorer with 19 points (she now has 1,001 career points) and Irvine finished with 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
In a key statistic, Westfield’s bench players outscored Framingham’s reserves, 20-4. Tania Ortiz, Briana Kelly and Forbasaw Nkamebo each scored six points for the Owls, while freshman starters Keri Doldoorian and Tayler Travis tallied 12 and 11 points, respectively. Sophomore center Gabby Felix chipped in with nine points and six rebounds. Senior guard Jenny Bell led Westfield with seven boards.
Ashton shot a sizzling 72 percent from the field (8 for 11) in addition to garnering game highs of six assists and five steals. She ranks nationally is steals (4th) and assists (14th) per game.
Westfield took its biggest lead of 12 points, 65-53, with 4:37 remaining after two layups from Felix.
Westfield won the board battle, 36-27, and committed 19 turnovers to Framingham’s 23. But the Owls only had six second-half turnovers.
The Rams stayed within striking distance by shooting 6 for 14 form 3-point range and 18-for-22 from the foul line.

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