SALEM, Mass. -- Marcus Faison (Cambridge, MA) had a huge night, scoring 24 points and adding 21 rebounds as Salem State earned a 91-84 come-from-behind victory over Worcester State Wednesday night at Twohig Gymnasium.
The victory pushes the Vikings to 7-1 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) and 13-8 overall while the Lancers go to 4-4 and 6-14.
Worcester State's shots were falling early and often as they jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first five minutes. During that stretch, the Lancers held the Vikings scoreless, forcing Salem State to do a complete lineup change after their starters couldn't find the basket. Jacob Lindland (Hamilton, MA) gave his Vikings the spark they desperately needed with two three-pointers in a one-minute span that cut the deficit to 14-8.
Ryan DiBernardo (Springfield, MA) matched Lindland's outside scoring with nine points on 3-6 shooting from the floor including two triples. Salem State had a tough matchup down low with six-foot-nine forward Paul Brooks (Arlington, MA) leading Worcester State with 10 first half points and four rebounds. The Vikings had a tough time stopping any Lancer from scoring in the paint as Worcester State outscored Salem State 24-18 inside.
The Vikings got back in the game with a tenacious defense that forced 13 turnovers in the half while notching 12 points in return, which included an Aaron Anniballi (Milford, MA) turnover that led to a Sean Bryan (Lowell, MA) triple that cut the Lancers' lead to 41-38. However, Cal Howes (Maynard, MA) knocked down a corner trey ball that allowed Worcester State to take a 44-38 advantage heading into the second half.
After an inconsistent first half, the Vikings' offense battled back in the second half with their ability to score in the post. While limiting the Lancers to 16 points in the paint, Faison and company added 26 points down low that allowed Salem State to take their first lead of the game with 7:52 on the clock.
Bryan played a vital role in the Vikings' second half comeback as he facilitated the ball and added 13 of his 21 points after intermission, including going 7-9 from the free throw line. Salem State clinched the win after Bryan made two free throws following a DiBernardo foul that put the Vikings ahead by six-points with 28-seconds remaining. Bryan added two more free throws moments later to secure the 91-84 victory.
Shaquan Murray (Boston, MA) added 18 points as he joined Faison and Bryan with double-digits. Anniballi led the Lancers with 22 points, seven rebounds, and six assists while Brooks and Jeremy Bacon (Milford, MA) combined for 28 points and 16 rebounds. DiBernado and Howes added 11 points apiece.
The Vikings' journey through the MASCAC continues on Feb. 4 when they travel to North Adams to take on MCLA at 1:00 p.m. Worcester State will resume action again on Feb. 6 when they host Fisher College at 7:00 p.m.
Release Courtesy of Salem State Sports Information