By Tyler Wahl
The Rams Men’s Basketball team faced o= against Salem State in front of a full crowd in the Athletic Center Feb 16.
The gym was buzzing with excitement for the team’s senior night. The thrilling atmosphere helped push the Rams into a hot start in the first half.
Framingham State did well pushing the ball down low, as they converted on Ive layups within the first Ive minutes of the half.
Sophomore forward JD Okafor converted half of the team’s 12 points with just a little over 14 minutes left in the half.
Okafor’s aggressive rebounding helped the Rams score multiple second-chance opportunities to keep the team’s energy Rowing.
A three-point jumper from junior guard Jahden Erold sent the gym into a frenzy as they tied Salem State 15-15.
The first half was played defensively by both teams as reflected in the 21-20 score and with a little over seven minutes to play, Salem State went on a scoring run for the biggest lead of the game.
The Vikings scored seven straight to make it a 30-22 game, forcing the Rams to take a much needed timeout to regroup.
Following the timeout, the Rams rattled o= a few layups to close the gap. Despite valiant defensive effort, the Rams were unable to stop Salem State’s aggressive offensive playstyle.
The Rams also gave up a total of 11 turnovers in the first half, continuing a struggle that the Rams have had all season.
Framingham State also lacked efficiency in their free throw shooting, going 3-7 from the line during the first half.
The second half was even less favorable for the Rams as the Vikings went on a 13-4 run to start off and took a quick 50-32 lead.
The Rams did show some life around halfway through the frame, rattling o= an 11-0 run to bring the lead to a less comfortable eight points for the Vikings.
Although Framingham State showed fight in the second half, the lack of scoring from the Rams and efficient shooting from Salem State destroyed hopes for a comeback.
Salem State took home the victory 78-67 over the Rams after an 8-0 run from the Vikings to close the game.
Although the Rams couldn’t pull out a win on a special senior night, the team still seems focused on their final game of the season and the MASCAC tournament to follow.
Junior small forward Jaylen Swan said, “Despite our record, I really think we can compete with any team in our conference.”
That confidence is something the Rams look to ride into the remaining games of the season regardless of their lackluster 3-20 regular season record.
Senior guard Trevor Maniak also spoke after the game adding, “My teammates’ work ethic is
unmatchable. They gave their 110% effort even when things weren’t going our way. That is something special to have in a new system.”
Maniak gave a lot of credit to his teammates and also reflected on his time as an FSU basketball player on senior night.
“This game has been my life for as long as I can remember, so tonight’s game really meant the world to me. It was my last chance to go out and just play ball on a court I struggled and grew up on. It’s truly a blessing,” he added.
The Rams look to close out their season with a win against Worcester State on Saturday Feb. 19.