WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State ran out to a big lead, then held on late to defeat Elms College, 88-77 in a non-conference men's basketball game at the Woodward Center on Thursday evening.
Westfield (5-3) led 39-29 at the half, then extended its lead to as many as 26 points, leading 61-35 after a pair of free throws from Moody Bey with 14:45 left in the game, as the Owls put together a 22-6 spurt to open the second half. Marcus Collins scored eight points in the key Owls' run and Bey seven to put Westfield in control.
Westfield led 70-44 after a Bey three-pointer with 11 minutes left in the game. The Owls substituted liberally and maintained a 20-point lead with less than five minutes to play.
Elms (2-7) rallied in the final minutes, with three three-pointers from DJ Edelen in that stretch, and then cut the lead to just seven, 84-77 on a Kewan Smoot layup with 1:44 to play that forced an Owls timeout to return their starters to the floor to preserve the lead and the win.
Vawn Lord led Westfield with 17 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots. Collins added 16 points and eight rebounds, and Jauch Green, Jr. chipped in with 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Bey added 12 points, five rebounds and five steals.
Elms was led by 18 points from Edelen and got 17 points from David Lopez, Jr., and 16 from Smoot.
Westfield held a decisive 61-40 edge in rebounding, and the Owls were 20-28 from the foul line.
Westfield State will next play at Eastern Nazarene College on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7:00 p.m.
Elms will host another MASCAC opponent, MCLA on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the Picknelly Arena.