Men’s Basketball to host playoff game after impressive season

By AJ Pascuzzo

Comment Staff

BSU Men's Seniors stand at mid-court with their family members to celebrate the end of their careers. The Bears finish with a 17-7 (9-2 MASCAC) record. Photo courtesy of BSUBears.com.
BSU Men’s Seniors stand at mid-court with their family members to celebrate the end of their careers. The Bears finish with a 17-7 (9-2 MASCAC) record. Photo courtesy of BSUBears.com.

 

With another successful season, the Bridgewater State University men’s basketball team is heading back to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament.

Jumping off the season in non-conference play at 6-5, the Bears had a very unique start to their season. Beating, at the time, nationally ranked Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Dec. 13, the Bears knew this year would certainly be a successful one.

Similar to last year, with a lot of up and downs, the Bears overcame their struggles with leadership from their five seniors; Forward/center Michael Lofton, point guard Justin Clark, forward Matt Daniels, guard Barrett Murphy, and forward Kyle Gibson.

“The kids have put their interests aside for the team and they do what the team needs, which has been a big difference between winning and losing especially this year,” said head coach Joe Farroba.

The Bears won the 2014 MASCAC championship last March by defeating Salem State in a nail biter.

They have the bullseye on their backs as they look to defend their title as the host of this year’s MASCAC tournament, having the advantage of playing a semifinal home game and potentially a home game for the championship, if number-one seeded Westfield State is upset in their semifinal matchup.

“It means a lot for us to have home court advantage for our first playoff game, because we know our crowd can get loud and rowdy and homecourt advantage is key when it comes to playoffs,” said senior captain Lofton. “It would mean a lot to us seniors if we got our second ring in a row, just because it would be a great way to end our careers here at Bridgewater.”

“They are willing to practice hard so they are successful for this game, which is a big need,” Farroba said. “Having experience with four seniors in the starting lineup is a huge surplus for our success.”

Key players that will immensely contribute to a Bears win is junior standout Tyler DeMelo and senior Barrett Murphy, who can both stroke the three ball.

DeMelo is the only starter in the lineup that is not a senior, averaging 8.2 points a game and playing lock down defense.

“I am excited to play in another home game for the playoffs, it’s great playing at home,” said DeMelo. “We just need to stay focused and do what we’ve been doing which is play great defense and get the ball to Lofton.”

Along with Lofton and Gibson as the main scorers, Murphy falls right behind them averaging 10.2 points a game.

Gibson and Murphy need to have tremendous offensive nights on Thursday to keep the eyes off of Lofton, who has recently been named the MASCAC men’s basketball player of the year for the 2014-15 season.

Lofton is averaging a double-double this season, scoring 18.9 points per game and grabbing 10.5 rebounds a game.

“He distributes the ball very well, which lets us run as a team which we are doing a much better job at than in the beginning of the season,” Farroba said.

There is a lot of basketball left to be played this year, the Bears are hoping. Coming off a three game win streak, they feel pretty confident going into tournament play especially with home court advantage.

Bridgewater State will try to keep their season alive on Thursday night when they host Fitchburg State in the semifinals. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

 

AJ Pascuzzo is a Comment staff writer.

 

+ posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related

NBA Trade Deadline Review

Another year, another NBA trade deadline. While it was a more quiet trade deadline than most were expecting there was still a good amount of moves that were made. Here’s the review of the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline. The Oklahoma City Thunder are having a great year and seem to be pushing for a playoff […]

Patriots Receiver Kayshon Boutte Arrested for Illegal Gambling

New England Patriots wide receiver Kayshon Boutte was arrested for illegal online gambling after an investigation by Louisiana State Police. Boutte allegedly placed 8,927 illegal wagers, including six on Louisiana State University football games. LSU is Boutte’s alma mater, where he was drafted in the sixth round of the 2023 draft by the Patriots. He […]

Alumni Profile: Megan Ianiro

The Bridgewater State Women’s Basketball team recently had their Alumni Day game on January 27 against Salem State, which they won with a convincing 100-70. This was the first time the team reached the century mark in two years, previously scoring 105 against MCLA on January 7, 2022. One of those players from the past […]

BSU Spring Sports Preview

The campus may still be blanketed with snow, but BSU spring sports are right around the corner. Read on for a look at the exciting season ahead for baseball, softball, women’s lacrosse, and men’s tennis. Women’s Lacrosse: Head Coach Erica Adams is returning for her eighth season at the helm and is looking to lead […]