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Men’s basketball concludes season with win over Fitchburg; surpasses wins from previous season 

Updated: Feb 23

Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST

By Adam Levine

Sports Editor

The Framingham State Rams defeated the Fitchburg State Falcons 71-67 in their final game of the season Feb. 17.

Framingham ended their season with an overall record of 6-19 and a conference record of 1-11. Their sixth win was one more win than the previous season and three more wins than the season before that.

The Rams honored their three seniors - Joshue Castillo, Jahden Erold, and Bryan Thompson - all of whom started the game.

Castillo, who has been a Ram since his freshman year, said, “It felt great to be honored just for the fact I put in so much work and basketball has been a part of my life for a long time.” He added it was a great feeling to win in his final game as a Ram.

He said, “The program has been improving every year since my first year.

“You can say whatever you want, but a new era for Framingham basketball is coming soon - those freshmen ain’t nothing to play with,” Castillo added.

He said, “I’m positive they’ll have a better record next year than this year.”

Castillo said, “I want to give thanks to all the students that supported us, although we had a few bumps on the road - super excited to see the Rams next year.”

Erold, who completed his third season as a Ram, said the win was “refreshing - definitely good to leave up on a ‘W.’”

He said the win “definitely shows everything that we’ve been through this season.”

Erold said, “The future is definitely bright” for the men’s basketball program. 

“We got some really good freshmen with Josh, Harrison, and even people who didn't get to shine yet,” he added.

Thompson, who completed his second season as a Ram, said playing in front of friends and family during his senior game was a “pleasure” and he was “grateful” for the opportunity.

He said, “Where I'm from - I'm from Connecticut - there are not a lot of people who go to college and finish,” and after playing at different colleges, he “just felt everything good” playing in his senior game.

Thompson said after he won his final game as a Ram, he was “speechless” and the win showed the “heart and culture” of the men’s basketball program.

He said when he transferred to FSU, he and Head Coach Donald Morris Jr. talked about the program and the “culture” as a Ram. It was “bigger than myself.”

Man stood in gym holding basketball while guarded by two men. A teammate is open to a pass behind them.
Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST

Thompson said, “When I came in here, I just wanted to change the culture,” and around campus he feels he has seen a change.

“Hopefully, the freshmen just stay smart and strong in the gym, so they can just keep changing the culture,” he said.

Freshman standout Joshua Saint Jean recorded the only double-double in the game with 13 points and 14 rebounds, which was higher than his 10.8 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game throughout the season.

Saint Jean said, “It was our last game. We had to work hard for the seniors because it was their last game and we wanted to put it all on the floor for them.

“Win or lose, we wanted to put our heart out on the floor and try to win this game,” he added.

Saint Jean said, “I feel like we accomplished our goal.”

Saint Jean earned MASCAC Rookie of the Week three times throughout the season, but his expectations were “very low” for his individual performance as a rookie.

“I didn't know if I was going to play a lot. I didn't know how the competition was going to be. But I feel like I've accomplished a lot as a freshman,” he added.

Saint Jean said, “I feel like we had a great season and we’ll have a better season next year.”

Junior Kyle Philistin scored a game-high 19 points in the finale game of the season, which was more than his 12.2 points per game during the season. He also ranked second in the MASCAC in 3-point percentage (39.8).

Crowd of basketball players celebrating.
Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST

Philistin, who completed his first season as a Ram, said, “I felt my performance tonight was great - shoutout to my teammates. Without them, I wouldn’t have had the performance I had.

“Throughout the season, I feel like I played great - could have picked some things up, but you know, we always have next year,” he added.

“Next season will be a great season. I can't wait - very excited,” said Philistin.

Freshman Javaun “Stretch” Calhoun played for less than a minute during the final game, coming in only during the final seconds of the game for defensive stops.

Calhoun recorded one of the team’s three blocks during the game, with his block coming with just 6 seconds remaining on the clock and securing Framingham’s victory over the Falcons. 

Calhoun said, “My coaches told me to stay ready, so I just stayed ready - I know my role.”

He said in those final seconds of the game, he knew his coaches and teammates “believed” in him. “That's just what I do. That's what I'm here for. I'm here for those types of moments.”

Calhoun said, “I feel like we’ll be a lot stronger next year. We had a new team that got one more win than last year. It’s a good start. It’s only the beginning - we got to build something from the ground.”

Coach Morris said the men’s basketball program is “going in the right direction.”

He said the “nucleus” of young players is a “key element” to the program.

Morris said he thinks confidence and experience are what will help the program next season, especially with the freshmen and transfer students, many of whom did not play at their previous schools.

“All of them are more confident now. So I think coming in a year from now, they'll completely understand what they need to do to be successful,” said Morris.



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