WESTFIELD, Mass. – Mary Kate O'Day scored 31 points and Flannery O'Connor added 30 to lead Framingham State to a 101-91 win over Westfield State in a key Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference women's basketball game in the league-opener for both teams at the Woodward Center on Saturday afternoon.
Framingham was picked to win the league title in the preseason coaches' poll, one point ahead of Westfield State.
The two teams battled back and forth throughout the first half, but O'Day hit a leaning 3-pointer at the first half buzzer that bounced several times on the rim before dropping through to give the Rams a 49-47 halftime lead.
Westfield (3-10, 0-1) threatened to break the game open in the third quarter. Down 52-47 just 18 seconds into the third quarter, Westfield used a 16-3 run to grab a 63-55 lead on an Emma Cretella three pointer with 5;20 left in the period.
The Rams battled back. Down nine, 67-58 after an Ally Scolnick layup for the Owls, Framingham rallied to take the lead at 71-70 with O'Day fueling the run with a three pointer and an old-fashioned three-point play.
Framingham (9-5, 1-0) led 74-70 entering the fourth quarter, and quickly extended the lead to eight, 78-70 on an O'Day layup less than a minute into the period. Westfield got the led back down to as few as six at 79-73 on a pair of free throws from Melissa Gray, but O'Day answered with a put back layup and a pair of made free throws to give the Rams a 10-point buffer that they would maintain for the final 7:30 of the contest.
O'Day finished 10-19 from the floor, 4-6 from three-point range, and 7-8 at the foul line, as the Rams connected on 24 of 34 foul shots in the game. O'Day added 10 rebounds and five assists. O'Connor was 13-20 from the floor and grabbed 16 rebounds. Emily Velozo added 10 and six-foot-one freshman Sarah Sullivan chipped in 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench. The 101-point total set a Framingham State school record for points in a game, surpassing the mark of 99 set twice in 2017.
Westfield was led by 21 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals from Melissa Gray. Chelsea Moussette added 16 points, eight assists and five steals, and freshman Alison Mendel netted 14 points on 5-7 shooting. The Owls forced 31 turnovers and shot 15-39 (38.5 percent) from three-point range.
Framingham shot 51.5 percent from the floor for the game, and benefitted from a 54-26 edge in points in the paint and a 27-11 edge in second chance points.
Westfield State returns to action on Tuesday, January 14 with a conference game at Worcester State.
Framingham will next host Worcester State on Thursday, Jan. 16.