WESTON, Mass. – In a game with nine ties and 17 lead changes, Regis College was unable to slow down the offense of Fitchburg State in the second half, as the Falcons shot 60 percent from the field after halftime to defeat the Pride, 90-82, Wednesday night in a non-conference men's collegiate basketball game at Higgins Court.
Ademola Afonja (Staten Island, N.Y.) shot 13-of-17 from the field as he finished with 29 points, two points more than his previous career high of 27 points. Jordan Seldon (Dorchester, Mass.) collected 14 points and three steals, Shawn Wedderburn (Bronx, N.Y.) contributed 12 rebounds and four assists, and Devante Thompson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) added 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Regis scored the first four points of the game, but Fitchburg State quickly went on an 8-2 run, led by five points from Nicholas Tracy, to pull ahead 8-6. Down 14-9 after a three-pointer by the Falcons' Jonathan Perez, the Pride scored 11 unanswered points, featuring three-pointers by Seldon, Juvens Dalger (City of Sunrise, Fla.), and Thompson, to take a 20-14 lead.
Fitchburg State (4-8) rallied from a 28-20 deficit with nine straight points over a three-minute span, but Regis retook the lead later in the first half on a traditional three-point play by Marc Trinidad (Bronx, N.Y.). Thompson hit a driving layup as time expired in the half to give the Pride a 39-34 advantage at halftime.
After Josh Germain (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) hit a layup to open the second half, the Falcons put together an 11-2 scoring run, capped by a layup by Andre Ruff off a steal by Tracy, to retake the lead at 45-43. Afonja hit consecutive layups to put the Pride back on top, but Fitchburg State quickly responded with a 9-2 scoring run, including a three-pointer by Tracy, to extend its lead to 54-49.
The Pride struck back with a 12-3 scoring run, with Afonja scoring eight of those points, but a three-pointer by Perez and a layup by Ruff swung the momentum and lead back in the Falcons' favor. After two more baskets by Afonja, Fitchburg State took the lead for good thanks to 10 unanswered points, and then the Falcons put the game away with eight straight points late in the second half.
Five players reached double figures in scoring for the Falcons, led by Ruff with 21 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. Tracy also scored 21 points, Tyrell St. John went 6-of-7 from the free throw line to finish with 12 points, Charles Doss earned 11 points and six rebounds, and Perez contributed 11 points off the bench.
After hitting 21-of-35 field goal attempts in the second half, Fitchburg State finished the game shooting 49.2 percent (32-of-65) from the field, including 7-of-14 from behind the three-point line, and 79.2 percent (19-of-24) from the free throw line. The Falcons scored 27 points off 22 Regis turnovers.
The Pride shot 50 percent (33-of-66) from the field, including 5-of-14 from behind the three-point line, and 64.7 percent (11-of-17) from the free throw line. Regis scored 23 points off 19 Falcon turnovers and 20 second chance points, although the teams finished with identical rebounding totals of 12 offensive and 24 defensive boards for 36 total rebounds.
Regis (5-7) closes the non-conference schedule with road games at Pine Manor Saturday, Jan. 5, at 3 p.m. and at Suffolk next Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 6 p.m. The next home game for the Pride will be the GNAC opener against Norwich Saturday, Jan. 12, at 3 p.m. Fitchburg State opens its MASCAC schedule at Framingham State this Saturday at 3 p.m.