NORTH ADAMS -- The top team in the conference found itself in a dogfight with the bottom team Thursday night. But MCLA pulled out a close 67-64 win over Framingham State to improve to 4-0 in the MASCAC and atop the league standings.
Framingham had tied the game at 64 with 1 minute, 23 seconds remaining, but the MCLA defense didn't allow another point. The offense converted 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch, with Vernon Cross making his two and Richard Johnson making it a three-point game with one of his own with 4 seconds to play. He then made a steal on Framingham's final possession to secure the win and the spot in the standings.
Cross finished with 10 points on the night. Bilal Shabazz led the team with 11.
The Trailblazers return to action Saturday at home against Fitchburg State, who is 1-3 in the conference. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.
MCLA women's basketball
NORTH ADAMS -- The Trailblazers found themselves trailing by six at halftime, but couldn't close the gap in an 83-59 loss to Framingham State.
The lead ballooned to as many as 28 (68-40) in the second half.
Lucy Tremblay again led MCLA in points, scoring 17. She also had five assists.
McCann girls' basketball
SOUTHWICK -- The Hornets struggled early and trailed at the break, but outscored the hosts by eight in the second half to earn a 38-31 victory.
Kennedy Valois scored her only points of the game with about two minutes to play in the game, giving McCann a five-point lead and some much-needed breathing room.
"We played a pretty sluggish first half. We were getting our shots, they're just not going in," coach Mike Dowling said. He credited better passing to the second-half turnaround.
The Hornets saw an immediate benefit, scoring 14 points in the third quarter, matching their first-half output, to give them a narrow four-point advantage heading into the final eight minutes.
Mary Nguyen led the way offensively with 20 points. She had nine points come from the free-throw line. She attempted 18 in the game, 11 in the fourth.
Hoosac girls' basketball
PITTSFIELD -- The Hurricanes' pressure defense, coupled with their transition game, was a tough combination for the Braves to counter. Hoosac used to take a 68-41 win.
"It's good for the kids to gain some confidence after a tough loss [to Drury]," coach Ron Wojcik said. "They bounced back really well tonight."
Jen Gale led all scorers with 19, while Emily Rosse added 15. Shea Hassett had 13 for Taconic.
Wojcik said several of his players were more healthy than they had been, and that helped the Hurricanes be more aggressive in their press.