Rams advance to MASCAC final, fall to Westfield State in shootout

Quinn O’Connell had 12 points in Framingham’s semifinal against Fitchburg and 13 in its championship game against Westfield. (Photo by Brad Leuchte)

In the semifinal round of the MASCAC tournament, the Rams defeated Bridgewater State at home 67-62 on Feb. 25.

Framingham won a closely contested game with the largest lead only growing to 10. A factor in the win was the Rams great 3-point shooting percentage where they shot 41 percent.

The Rams were led by Monta Connolly who had 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Sarah Palace contributed 10 points and Alycia Rackliffe provided 14 rebounds for a game-high.

The Rams used a 12-1 run to start the second half to gain a 10 point lead sparked from back-to-back 3-pointers from Palace and Raegan Mulherin.

The Bears then responded with their own 13-0 run to take the lead to one with 8 minutes remaining.

Framingham didn’t give up after losing the lead. The Rams responded immediately, battling back and forth with the Bears until gaining a five-point lead with 3 minutes remaining.

Mulherin sealed the game with a 3-pointer to put the game out of reach with 2 minutes remaining.

The Bears were led by Chanelle Melton who had a double double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. With the loss, the Bears season ends at 13-13.

With the win Framingham moved on to play No. 1 Westfield State.

In the women’s basketball championship Framingham traveled to Westfield State where they fell 92-86 in a high-scoring, closely-contested game.

Neither team led by more than 10 the entire game. A factor in the loss was the Rams’ 34 turnovers to Westfield’s 22.

Mulherin led the way for the Rams with a career-high 32 points and eight rebounds. Rackliffe also contributed 15 points and a career-high 26 rebounds. But the combination of the two still wasn’t enough to beat the Owls.

The Rams used a small five-point outburst to tie the game with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.

From there the game traded leads four times until back-to-back threes were made by Jill Valley with 6 minutes remaining.

From there the Owls never lost the lead again. With the win they win the automatic NCAA Division III tourney bid.

The Rams season ends with a program record 19 wins and 7 losses.