SALEM, Mass. - Malik Pouncy (Mattapan, Mass.) drilled a game-winning three-pointer with eight seconds remaining as Westfield State came back to defeat Salem State 94-93 on "Senior Day" in a thriller at Twohig Gymnasium on Saturday.
The Owls trailed the whole game, until Pouncy's three-pointer put Westfield State ahead and the Owls survived a last second attempt by the Vikings. The loss snapped the Vikings' eight-game winning streak. Westfield State improves to 13-10 on the year and 6-4 in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC). Salem State falls to 15-9 on the season and 9-2 in the MASCAC.
Salem State honored senior Temitope Bailey (West Springfield, Mass.) in a pre-game ceremony as the four-year player suited up for his final regular season home game.
In the first half, the Owls trailed 36-26 but went on an 11-2 run with 4:27 left in the period to trail by just one, 38-37. However, Sean Bryan (Lowell, Mass.) scored the next 11 points for Salem State; with five seconds remaining, a loose ball recovered by Fern Bernard (Malden, Mass.) was dished to Melvin Worley (Lowell, Mass.) who drilled a mid-range jumper as the game clock expired putting Salem State ahead 57-47.
Bryan scored 24 first-half points (FG 7-12, 3PT 4-5) for the Vikings. Westfield State's Christopher Prophet (Springfield, Mass.) and Pouncy each had 11 points in the period.
The Owls shot 44.7% (FG 17-38) from the floor while the Vikings converted 54.3% (FG 19-35) of their shots from the field.
Westfield State was physical to begin the second half, forcing five turnovers with their full-court press.
Westfield State starters Jauch Green Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) and Prophet both fouled out with eight minutes left in the half. Leading 86-73, The Vikings' Hakeem Animashaun (Dedham, Mass.) was accessed his second technical foul, resulting in the Owls converting five-of-six free throws to pull with within eight, 86-78 with 6:06 remaining.
With 2:12 remaining Vawn Lord (Amherst, Mass.) was called for an offensive foul and fouled out as Bryan nailed both free throws giving the Vikings a 93-91 advantage with twenty seconds left.
Westfield State's Moody Bey (Springfield, Mass.) hit Pouncy coming off a screen and Pouncy standing behind the arc hit the game-winner.
For the game, the Vikings shot 44.9% (FG 31-69) from the floor and the Owls 48.5% (FG 33-68) from the field.
Salem State's Sean Bryan scored his career-high 41 points (FG 11-22, 3PT 5-11, 14-15 FT). Animashaun finished with 19 points (FG 7-13) and grabbed 14 rebounds. Bryan Martine (Salem, Mass.) had nine points and 10 rebounds.
For Westfield State, Pouncy had 19 points (FG 7-11) and four steals. Lord added 20 points (FG 7-12) and six boards off the bench.
The Vikings' final regular season game will be on the road against MCLA on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.