NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - The Worcester State University women's basketball team extended its season-long winning streak to six games on Saturday afternoon, defeating MCLA 60-48 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference action at the Amsler Campus Center Gym.
With the win, the Lancers win move to 17-5 overall on the season, and remain in first place in the MASCAC with a record of 8-1 in conference. The six-game winning streak is the program's longest since they won seven straight from December 6, 2014 to January 13, 2015. MCLA falls to 4-16 overall and 0-9 in the conference.
Worcester State controlled the game's opening quarter, jumping out to a 16-6 lead after 10 minutes. The two teams traded baskets early, with MCLA taking an early 5-4 lead on a three from senior Mckenzie Robinson (Adams, Mass.), but the Lancers would respond with a 12-1 run to close the quarter. Senior Brittany Herring (West Brookfield, Mass.) scored 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting to lead all players in the period.
The teams played a low-scoring second quarter, which saw the Lancers outscore the Trailblazers 9-8 to take a 25-14 advantage into the locker room. Worcester State's Catherine Sweeney (Lowell, Mass.) and MCLA's Erika Ryan (Clifton Park, N.Y.) and L'Rae Brundige (Valley Falls, N.Y.) all netted four points in the quarter to lead the scoring.
Both offenses kicked it into gear in the third quarter, as the Trailblazers climbed back into the contest by outscoring the Lancers 21-15. A 7-0 Lancer run in just over a minute in the early stages of the quarter to give them their largest lead of the day at 16 points (32-16) was answered by a 9-0 MCLA run to cut the deficit to 32-25 with 4:40 showing on the clock. The teams would trade baskets in the final minutes of the quarter, and the Lancers took a 40-35 lead to the fourth.
Senior Courtney Pingelski (Mechanicville, N.Y.) scored the first two baskets of the fourth quarter for MCLA to cut the Lancer advantage to just one at 40-39, but from there the visitors would take over and squash any attempt at a comeback. Senior Kaitlyn Berkel (Waterford, Conn.) responded with back-to-back baskets of her own, leading the Lancers to close it out. Pingelski scored nine points in the quarter, but her efforts fell short as the Lancers came away victorious.
Herring set an all-time program record by making 10 shots without a miss on the afternoon, leading all players with 26 points. Berkel had 10 points for the Lancers, eight of which coming in the fourth quarter. Pingelski was the leading Trailblazer on her Senior Day, putting home 18 points.
The Lancers will be off until next Saturday, when they host Fitchburg State at John P. Brissette Court. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m.