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Women’s basketball bests Bridgewater in highly-anticipated conference rematch

By Adam Levine

Sports Editor

By Sophia Oppedisano

Staff Writer

The Framingham State Rams beat the Westfield State Owls Jan. 27 83-79 and Bridgewater State Bears 59-58 Jan. 31, extending their win-streak to seven games.

Framingham’s win over Bridgewater launched them into the number one spot in the MASCAC rankings and simultaneously marked their 18th win of the season, surpassing last season’s mark of 17 wins.

The Rams’ 83-79 win over the Owls completed a season sweep, following their 74-52 victory Jan. 3 in their MASCAC opener.

Point guard Gwendolyn Carpenter said, “That Westfield game was a big one for us.

“It was a very physical game and we played well - we showed up in the second half,” she added.

Carpenter recorded her second career triple-double, scoring 21 points and recording 11 rebounds and 12 assists, and earned MASCAC Player of the Week Jan. 29. 

“There is no individual success without everyone,” she said. “I’m just trying to do everything I can to get us to the championship game.”

The team’s combined shot percentages helped propel them to a victory over the Owls. The Rams shot 54.4% on field goals and an impressive 60.0% from 3-point range, exceeding their season averages of 43.6% and 34.1%, respectively. 

Framingham’s only conference loss came against Bridgewater earlier this month and the team was eager to face off with them again.

Head Coach Walter Paschal said, “we’re very fortunate” to come away with the win.

“It really is the two best teams in the league right now, so hopefully we'll see them again,” he said.

Forward Abby Martin said, “Ever since we’ve lost we’ve been working so hard to play against them. Bridgewater is a great team, but tonight they came out - they played hard, but we just played harder.” 

Martin recorded six of the Rams’ 50 rebounds, one of them coming in a key moment with only six seconds left in the game. 

She delivered on a defensive rebound to get the ball back for the Rams. Rebounds proved to make a difference in the matchup. “It’s very important - especially in those clutch moments. We were all jumping up for the ball and it just happened to land in my hands,” she said.

Forward Kelsey Yelle recorded a double-double against the Bears with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Yelle said, “It felt so great to beat them but we have things to work on.

“We let them come back and we only beat them by one,” she added.

Shooting guard Chloe Rayko went 3-7 on 3-point field goal attempts, leading the team from the 3-point line. 

She said 3-point shots are “very important” and they help the team “open up and get other shots.”

Rayko added the team is “feeling pretty strong,” and there was improvement from their earlier loss against the Bears.

Rayko said, “We just have to keep pushing.

“I think we definitely used the ball better and we were able to get more open shots - I think we let them get more shots last game as well,” she added.

Although Framingham struggled with turnovers, both teams were evenly matched and the Rams held Bridgewater’s largest lead to only 5 points.

Coach Paschal said, “We got down five late and the kids dug in - some big stops, big baskets and we held down in the end.”

The Rams now hold an overall record of 18-2 and a conference record of 7-1. 

Carpenter said, “As the season has gone on, we’ve gotten tougher, and we’ve had a little bit more want to win.”

Framingham travels to Salem State for another MASCAC matchup Feb. 3.

The Rams prepare for the final four games of the season before the MASCAC tournament begins.

“We have got some big games coming up - so that'll be fun,” Carpenter said.



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