Men's Basketball Edged by Fitchburg St., 80-78

Men's Basketball Edged by Fitchburg St., 80-78

Courtesy of Springfield College Sports Information 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Thomas College men's basketball team came up short to Fitchburg State, 80-78, in the Hampton Inn West Springfield/Naismith Classic Consolation Game on Sunday evening in Blake Arena.

Freshman Anthony Allen and senior Joshua Bosworth combined for 33 points to lead Fitchburg.

The Terriers were led by sophomore Zach Mackinnon (Kennebunk, Maine) with 15 points and five rebounds while freshman Angel Gonzalez (Orlando, Fla.) finished with 14 points and four assists.  Freshman Justin Butler (Orlando, Fla.) followed with 12 points and dished out four assits.

With the win, the Falcons improve to 4-7 overall, while Thomas levels out a 5-5 on the year. For their efforts over the weekend, Bosworth and Thomas' Carlos Gonzalez (Kennebunk, Maine) were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Fitchburg State shot 29-of-63 (46.0%) in the victory, while the Terriers were 33-of-64 (51.6%) shooting in the setback. Thomas also held a 44-30 advantage on the glass over 40 minutes of play.

Fitchburg State came out in a zone defense early in the game and Mackinnon took full advantage as he registered the first 11 points of the contest, which included a pair of three-pointers and five free throws to spark a 15-0 run for the Terriers over the first 3:30 of the contest. From there, a three-pointer from Charles Doss pulled the Falcons to within 10, facing a 17-7 deficit, before John Morgan (Sanford, Maine) converted a lay-up at the 14:55 mark to make it 19-7, Thomas. The Falcons would then go on a 10-0 run over the next 3:49, capped by a lay-up from Charlie Ollis to pull Fitchburg State to within a pair, before Matt Allen (Barre, Vermont) stopped the run with a triple to make it 22-17, Terriers, with 9:48 on the clock.

Fitchburg State's Jonathan Perez gave the Falcons their first lead of the game at the 8:02 mark after the junior converted a lay-up, before a three-pointer from Brandon Harris, followed by a free throw from Allen, which gave the Falcons a 34-28 lead with 2:46 remaining in the half. After Bosworth made it an eight-point game with 2:28 to play, Gonzalez and Demetris Webster (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) scored on ensuing possessions to cut the Terriers' deficit to four at the half, trailing 36-32.

Opening the second half of play, Nicholas Tracy executed a three-point play and Bosworth followed with a lay-up to make it 42-35, but the Terriers would go on a 8-0 run, capped by back-to-back lay-ups from Morgan to make it 43-42, Thomas, with 16:20 to play. From there the Falcons would wrestle the lead back, taking a four-point advantage following a jumper from Tyrell St. John to make it 53-49, Fitchburg State, before the Terriers evened the score at 53 apiece on a lay-up from Willie Grant (Philadelphia, Pa.) with 11:21 to play.

With 9:02 on the clock, three free throws from Allen gave the Falcons a 58-57 lead, before Thomas made it 61-60 on a lay-up from Grant with 7:53 to play. Both sides would trade leads until a lay-up from Tracy, followed by a gritty finish from Bosworth gave Fitchburg State a 74-71 lead with 2:52 to play. Even at 77 apiece with under a minute to play Troy DaCosta hit a free throw to give the Falcons a 78-77 lead, before Bosworth sealed the win at the line.

The Terriers will return to conference play on Friday, January 5 as they travel to New England College for a 7:30 p.m. start.