Selby connects for 25 points to lead Falcons in MASCAC loss
FITCHBURG, Mass. (February 11, 2012) – Sophomore Brandon Selby (Baltimore, Md./Joppatowne) drained 25 points to lead the Fitchburg State men's basketball team but the Falcons fell to Salem State University, 88-86 in MASCAC action this afternoon.
Selby registered a strong performance for the Falcons, hitting 9-of-24 from the field and 5-of-8 from the free throw line, while junior Zach Valliere (Douglas, Mass./Douglas) turned in yet another double-double effort, touching for 18 points and 13 boards on the day. Sophomore Mike Ingram-Rubin (Boston, Mass./Bedford) was also solid with 14 points and eight caroms, while junior Tom Henneberry (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) finished with 12 points off the bench.
Senior Brian Clark (Deerfield, Mass./Frontier Regional) did most of the damage for the visiting Vikings, posting a game-high 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field. Clark was joined by junior Nate Simpson (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) who added 23 points and nine boards, while sophomore Andrew White (Medford, Mass./Medford) chipped in with 19 points and seven caroms off the bench.
It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the afternoon as the game saw nine lead changes and five ties throughout the contest. Fitchburg State jumped out to an early six point advantage, opening the game with a 13-7 run, but Salem State inched back cutting its deficit to only one (15-14) by the 15:29 mark.
The Falcons responded, using back-to-back threes from Henneberry and Ingram-Rubin to regain a ten point cushion, but the Vikings rallied again, as the Clark brothers rifled off eight straight points to trail by only six (33-27). Fitchburg State closed the half-strong with a 6-1 run, including another trey from Ingram-Rubin, but four consecutive free-throws from the Vikings sent Salem State to the locker room with only a three point deficit.
In the second half, play remained tight with neither team grabbing more than a three basket lead. The Falcons snagged the largest lead of the period (79-72), stringing together a 10-4 run at 6:08 mark, but again the Vikings answered the call again, knotting the score at 80-80 with 3:23 remaining in regulation.
The Vikings collected a four point advantage with four consecutive points from Simpson, but the Falcons marched within one (85-84) following a pair of Henneberry free-throws. Forced to foul in the closing seconds, Fitchburg State fell behind by three (87-84), but the Falcons battled back, using back-to-back free-throws from Valliere to trail by only one with 0:14 on the clock.
Salem State regained possession on the next trip down the court, but Fitchburg State forced a rebound and called a time out to set up the game-winning shot. The Falcons executed their play to perfection, setting up Henneberry down the base-line for the game-winning jumper but the junior guard's shot sailed just long to clinch the game for the Vikings.
Fitchburg State (11-11, 2-8 MASCAC) will be back in action on Tuesday as it hosts MCLA at 7:30 p.m. Salem State (15-7, 8-2 MASCAC) will host Bridgewater State on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.