The trio Kristen Hoffman, Alycia Rackliffe and Nicole Bostic combined for 48 points as third-seeded Framingham State advanced to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament semifinals for the second straight season with a 75-63 victory over visiting sixth-seeded Worcester State on Tuesday evening.
With the win, the Rams improve to 16-10 overall and advance to the Thursday’s semifinal at second-seeded Westfield State at 7 p.m.
Worcester State, who had made five straight semifinal appearances, sees its season come to an end with a record of 9-17.
The hosts actually trailed 55-50 midway through the second half before rattling off 25 of the game’s final 33 points. A 14-2 spurt, which was headlined by six points each by Bostic and Rackliffe, gave the Rams a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
The first half was well-played with six lead changes and only 11 turnovers between the two squads. Worcester State used eight straight points, including a pair of three-pointers, by Julie Frankian to jump out to an 8-2 advantage. Two more three-poiners by Kelli McPherson put the Lancers up 18-11 but the Rams used seven points from Hoffman during a 19-8 spurt which helped the hosts to take a 37-36 edge into the locker room at the break.
Hoffman finished a rebound short of a double-double, tossing in a team-best 17 points to go along with a game-high nine rebounds. Rackliffe, the four-time defending Conference rookie of the week, netted 12 of her 16 points after halftime to go along with seven boards, three blocks and a pair of steals while Bostic recorded 10 of her 15 points after intermission. Margo McCarthy and Monta Connolly each chipped in with eight points for the winners. McCarthy and Johanna Annunziata both handed out four assists.
Frankian led all players with 20 points while Shannen El-Qasem chipped in with 18 and McPherson ended up with nine. Standout senior Meaghan Burns contributed six points and a team-leading seven rebounds while Cheyenne Jennings doled out a game-best five assists.
The two teams shot nearly identical from the floor, with Worcester State draining 25 of 54 (45 percent) tries and the hosts canning 25 of 55 (46 percent) attempts. Framingham State was more effective getting to the free throw line, shooting 20 of 26 from the charity stripe while the Lancers were only 9 of 14 on the night.
The Blue and Gold also misfired on its final five 3-pointers after hitting on 4 of its first 5 over the opening 8:11 of the contest.