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Women’s basketball advances to conference finals

Women wearing #24 jersey jumping with basketball near next
Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST

By Adam Levine

Sports Editor

By Izabela Gage

Staff Writer

The Framingham State Rams advanced to the MASCAC Championship Game with an 81-55 win over the Salem State Vikings Feb. 22.

This marked Framingham’s 23rd win of the season, setting a new program record, which was set at 22 wins during both the 2019-20 and 2021-22 seasons.

Earlier in the week, the Rams concluded their regular season with an 89-54 victory over the Fitchburg State Falcons Feb. 17.

Framingham honored their four seniors - Regan Fein and Captains Gwendolyn Carpenter, Flannery O’Connor, Jenna Tavanese.

Tavanese said, “We love everyone who comes and supports all of us, and especially on our last home regular-season game.”

Tavanese said Fitchburg guard Olivia Almeida has been her best friend since fifth grade.

She said, “We played fifth grade through senior year of high school together and then we knew coming into our freshman year of college that we weren't going to be teammates anymore.

“But I love playing against her. If you notice, I'll crack a smile every time I'm guarding her or she's guarding me,” Tavanese added.

Tavanese said it was “surreal” playing against Almeida in her senior game. “I'm glad I got to celebrate my senior night with her.”

Following the win, Tavanese said, “We’re in it to win it now. We won the regular season but we’re not done. We’re going for the MASCAC Championship.”

More recently, Framingham’s win over the Vikings secured their third trip to the MASCAC Championship Game in four seasons, winning both of their last appearances in the 2019-20 and 2021-22 seasons.

Carpenter recorded 10 assists during the game. Her ninth and tenth assists set the new program record for single-season assists, at 182. She broke the previous record, 180, which she set during the 2021-22 season.

She said she did not realize she set the new record during the game and “I was just happy we got the win.

“My teammates are the reason I have that record, so it’s a testament to how well they played and how much I love playing with them,” added Carpenter.

Woman holding basketball being blocked by woman
Adrien Gobin / THE GATEPOST

The Rams host the Bridgewater State Bears for the MASCAC Championship Game Feb. 24.

Framingham’s two fifth-year players, O’Connor and Carpenter, played on the team during the 2019-20 and 2021-22 championship seasons and are preparing for their third appearance in the MASCAC Championship Game.

Carpenter said, “I think that’s a huge advantage going into Saturday. … We have been in a lot of big spots and know how to handle the moment. Hopefully, we can pass that experience down to our underclassmen as well.

“This is a great program, where I had great mentors and leaders as a freshman, so it’s super cool to be able to do that for the program now,” she added.

O’Connor said, “It feels good knowing we have been here before but this is an experience like no other so we will treat it like a new game and hopefully play some very good basketball.”

Framingham beat Bridgewater 59-58 in their previous matchup Jan. 31, but Framingham’s only MASCAC loss came against Bridgewater 56-47 Jan. 6.

Carpenter said, “I’m excited for the matchup. Bridgewater is a great team, so it’ll be a great game. I’m excited to see how we play and hopefully bring another win home.

“Tomorrow will focus mostly on the scout, our defensive plan, and overall game plan. We have worked hard all year to get to this moment, so we feel very prepared!” she added.

O’Connor said, “They are a tough team with some talented players. I want us to play our game and show everyone what Rams basketball is!”


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