WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester State University women's basketball team went wire-to-wire on Monday afternoon, defeating Nichols College 61-38 in the team's 11th Annual Math Madness game at John P. Brissette Court.
With the win, the Lancers improve to 11-4 on the season, while the Bison drop to 3-13.
An estimated 800 area school children were in attendance at the game, representing five schools and ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade. Each child filled out a math packet during the course of the game with questions involving player statistics, court dimensions, and more.
Worcester State got off to a fast start early on, as a Colleen Cutting (Auburn, Mass.) 3-pointer capped a 10-2 Lancer run in the contest's opening two and a half minutes. The two teams combined to shoot 54 percent (15-for-28) in the high-scoring first quarter, which came to a close with the Lancers ahead 21-16. Nichols sophomore Isabella Nerney (Guilford, Conn.) hit an impressive half-court three at the horn to close out the opening quarter.
The defenses kicked it into gear in the second quarter, which featured half the amount of scoring as the opening 10 minutes. Lancer senior Kate Surprenant (Pelham, N.H.) led all players in the quarter with five points, and the Lancers went to the locker room holding a 34-22 advantage.
The Worcester State defense stayed strong in the third quarter, as the Lancers allowed just three field goals in the period to carry a 48-30 lead into the fourth. One of Nichols' three buckets was yet another impressive half-court heave, this time by senior guard Mekaela Fithian-Giantonio (Plainville, Conn.). Freshman Sarah Blomgren (Lunenburg, Mass.) led a balanced Lancer attack in the quarter with four points, as five players combined to hit six field goals in the quarter.
Nerney and sophomore Melody Millett (Naples, Maine) each hit fourth quarter threes for the Bison, but the deficit proved to be too much to overcome as the Lancers closed out the 61-38 victory.
Cutting led all players on the afternoon with 12 points in the contest, while also chipping in five rebounds and two steals. Worcester State senior Brittany Herring (West Brookfield, Mass.) finished just off the pace with 11 points, as did Nichols' Millett and Nerney. Junior Catherine Sweeney (Lowell, Mass.) had an impressive stat line of four points, four rebounds, seven assists, and three steals on the day for the Lancers, while Surprenant and Blomgren each put up eight points.
Next up, the Lancers will travel to #6 Tufts on Wednesday evening. Nichols is back in action the same evening, taking on Roger Williams in Commonwealth Coast Conference action.