By Framingham State athletics
FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham State University men’s basketball team rallied late in the second half, but fell short as the Rams were defeated 78-67 by Salem State Wednesday evening in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action at the Athletic Center in Framingham.
With the loss, Framingham Stte falls to 1-10 in the Conference and 3-20 overall.
With the win, Salem State Vikings improve to 14-9 overall and 10-2 in the Conference.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The Rams were led offensively by a double double effort from J.D. Okafor. Okafor tallied a game-high 25 points on 12-of-23 from the floor and grabbed a game-best 12 boards, while adding two assists, a steal and a block.
- Jahden Erold chipped in with 10 points off the bench for the Rams to go along with three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
- Deven Okowuga led four Vikings in double figures with his team-best 22 points on 8-of-14 from the floor. He added six boards, two assists and a steal.
- Chris MacDonald chipped in with 17 points as he connected on 4-of-8 from long range and added four rebounds and a pair of steals.
- Conner Byrne finished the game with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Josiah Green finished with 11 points off the bench.
- Prior to the game, the Rams honored their four seniors – Trevor Manyak, Tarik Rivers, Josh Dumay and Keith Hollman – during Senior Night.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Rams opened the game with six straight points from Okafor before the Vikings answered with five straight pulling within one just under two minutes into the game.
- The two teams traded points until a Green jumper gave the Vikings their first lead of the game, 19-17, midway through the half.
- A pair of Erold free throws pulled the Rams within one, 23-22, with 6:13 on the clock. The Vikings answered with seven straight pushing the lead to 30-22 on a MacDonald three with just under five to play.
- An Erold layup cut the deficit down to six before an Okowuga three pushed the lead back nine and the Vikings headed to the locker leading 37-28.
- The Vikings opened the second half with a 13-4 run taking a 50-32 lead just under three minutes into the frame.
- Salem State led 58-39 with 12:13 remaining in the half, but the Rams used an 11-0 run fueled by seven points from Okafor to cut the deficit to 58-50 with 9:27 remaining.
- MacDonald broke the scoring drought for the Vikings when he sank one of two free throws with 8:03 on the clock that pushed the lead back nine.
- The Rams pulled within six, 61-55, on a three-point play from Keith Hollman with just over six to play before Salem once again pushed the lead to nine with just over five to play.
- The Rams closed the gap to five, 66-61, on a Manyak layup with 3:33 on the clock, but Salem used an 8-0 run capped by a dunk from Conner Byrne to seal the victory.
UP NEXT: The Rams close out the regular season on Saturday when they travel to Worcester State at 2 p.m., while the Vikings will be back in action next week during the MASCAC Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Photo courtesy of Framingham State athletics