By Brendan Coughlin
The perseverance of the Bridgewater State University men’s basketball team did not end up being enough to take home the 2015 MASCAC men’s basketball championship for a second year in a row. Westfield State University was the top seed and favorite to win the tournament.
The game ended with the Worcester St. Owls piled on top of each other at center court. The 78-69 outcome has Worcester St. heading into the NCAA Division III tournament while the Bears are forced to go home after an exceptional season.
In order to make it to the championship game, BSU took down Fitchburg State University in a home game at Tinsley Center in front of the largest crowd of the season. Michael “Flip” Lofton dropped a career high in the game with 33 points.
The game was a thriller that ended in overtime for BSU’s eighth game this season. In overtime, the unlikely hero was junior forward Michael Soares, who, improbably, had two breakaways in the end of overtime. Both times down the court, Soares two-hand slammed the ball, making the crowd erupt. The two dunks put the game out of question in the Bear’s 93-85 final.
The championship result was not what the Bear’s dream of. The high level performance that they showed all season led them to this game.
In the title game, Lofton matched his career high from the semifinal matchup with 33 points. Lofton ended his legendary career with 1,504 points to move him into sixth on the BSU all-time list.
Bear’s fans have the opportunity to send Lofton to the division III college all-star game sponsored by Reese’s. Fans can help send Lofton to the all-star game on March 27th in Salem, Va. To vote, fans and classmates are encouraged to go to www.d3hoops.com between Monday, March 9 until noon on Wednesday, March 11.
Brendan Coughlin is the Sports Editor of The Comment.