Worcester St. Hands Blue Basketball First Setback of 2016-17 Season

Julia Monaco
Julia Monaco

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Worcester State University sophomore Britt Herring (West Brookfield, Mass.) tallied her first double-double of the season to lift the visiting Lancers to a 61-52 non-conference victory over Wellesley College basketball on Sunday at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.

With the win, Worcester St. improves to 3-2 on the year, while dealing the Blue their first setback of the season to drop Wellesley to 3-1.

Herring finished the contest with a game-high 17 points and 11 rebounds. The sophomore center also collected three assists, one steal and a pair of blocks. Herring was one of three Lancers to finish the game in double figures on the glass, as first year Catherine Sweeney (Lowell, Mass.) added 11 rebounds and senior Bianca Langford (Worcester, Mass.) finished with 10. Sweeney also dished out a game-high seven assists. Sophomore Kaitlyn Berkel (Waterford, Conn.) chipped in with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and four blocks.

First year Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) led the Blue in scoring for the second time this week, finishing with 12 points, while adding four steals and one helper. Classmate Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) added eight more points for the Blue and sophomore Zojajha Ayub (Belle Mead, N.J.) finished with seven points and three rebounds.

Worcester St. was dominant on the glass in the game, finishing with a 53-30 edge in rebounds while outscoring the Blue 38-18 in the paint. A back-and-forth opening quarter resulted in a 10-10 tie, before Worcester St. outscored the Blue 18-8 in the second stanza to take a 28-18 advantage at the half. 

Wellesley senior Ailis Hanley (Cranton, R.I.) knocked down a jumper to start the second, but the Lancers countered with an 8-0 run, taking an 18-12 lead when Herring hit a short jumper at 7:31. Kopp broke the run on the next Wellesley possession but Worcester St. would go on to outscore Wellesley by a 10-4 margin to take the double-digit lead into the break.

Worcester St. opened the third quarter on an 8-2 run, holding the Blue to just one basket through the first seven minutes of the period. Wellesley unleashed a 10-point flurry at the end of the stanza. However, the Wellesley rally failed to cut the deficit, as the Lancers outscored the Blue 13-12 in the quarter to carry an 11-point edge to the fourth, at 41-30. 

Worcester St. built their largest lead of the game in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, scoring 12 unanswered points to take a 53-30 lead with 6:14 to play. Wellesley would battle back, cutting the lead back to 11 when first year Kendall You Mak (San Francisco, Calif.) stole the ball in the back court and hit a layup with just over half a minute to play. Wellesley would get as close as eight points, at 60-52, before Worcester St. took the 61-52 victory.

Both teams will be in action on Wednesday, November 30, at 7:00 PM. Wellesley will open New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play when they host WPI, while Worcester St. returns home to host Conn. College.