Westfield State gets record 13th-straight win

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WESTFIELD, Mass.  –  Senior guard Jen Ashton (Beverly/Beverly, Mass.) scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Westfield State to a school-record 13th consecutive win as the Owls defeated Worcester State, 57-44, in a MASCAC game at the Woodward Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Owls jumped out to a 10-2 lead early in the game, and led 27-20 at the half. 

Westfield ran out of the second half using a 10-0 run to start the half and built an 18-point lead just 5:15 into the second half.  Ashton scored six of the first 10 points in the half.

Worcester had one run left, chipping away at Westfield's lead to cut the margin back to eight points on a Shannon El-Qasem (Wachussett/Rutland, Mass.) jumper with 6:13 left in the game to cut the lead to 47-39.

Westfield returned the lead to double digits with four straight points from junior center Forbasaw Nkamebo (Amherst/Amherst, Mass.), who made two at the free throw line and finished a layup on the next possession to give the Owls a 51-39 lead.   The Lancers would never get closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Westfield's 13th straight win broke a mark set in 1992-93 and later tied in the 2008-9 season.  The Owls are now 19-4 overall and a perfect 10-0 in the MASCAC, with two games left on the conference slate.  The Owls were ranked ninth in New England in this week's NCAA advisory poll.

Nkamebo added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Westfield, and sophomore guard Jill Valley (Mahar/Orange, Mass.) finished with 12 points, three assists and four steals.   Ashton's 17 points run her career scoring total to 1,407 points, and she added four steals and four assists.

Worcester State falls to 14-9 overall and 5-5 in the MASCAC.  The Lancers were led by 15 points from Julie Frankian (Millbury/Millbury, Mass.), and got nine points each from El-Qasem and Bianca Langford (Holy Name/Worcester, Mass.).  Langford finished with a game high 15 rebounds.

Westfield will host MCLA on Tuesday at 5:30 in the Owls final regular-season home game and senior night.  Worcester State will host Fitchburg State on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.