Framingham, Mass. – The Framingham State University men's basketball team fended off a second half comeback from Wheelock College as the Rams defeated the Wildcats 56-50 this afternoon in non-conference action at the Athletic Center.
With the win, the Rams improve to 4-6 on the season with one game remaining before the semester break, while the Wildcats dip to 1-7 on the year.
The Rams had a trio of player record double figures led by 16 points from sophomore Steve Vayda (Oxford, Mass.). Vayda connected on seven-of-12 from the floor and added five boards. Junior Charles Valbrun (Hyde Park, Mass.), who connected on six-of-12 from the floor, narrowly missed a double double as he recorded 14 points and a team-high nine boards with three blocks. Junior Manny Payton (Fitchburg, Mass.) added 12 points and eight boards, while sophomore Tyri Hampton (Fitchburg, Mass.) chipped in nine points.
The Wildcats were led by a game-best 19 points from senior Kiwane Crowder. Crowder connected on seven-of-18 from the floor including four-of-11 from long range and added three boards, two assists and a steal. Erick Hernandez, Tyler Passmore and Brendan Miller added eight points apiece, while Miller led the way on the glass with a game-high 11 boards including seven on the offensive end.
The Rams jumped out to a 14 point lead midway through the first half, but the Wildcats chipped away and headed to the locker trailing, 24-18.
Wheelock cut the Rams lead to one, 28-27, on a three by Crowder just over three minutes into the second, but the Rams rattled off an 8-1 run pushing the lead back to eight. Wheelock cut the deficit back to two on three occasions including on a Crowder jumper with 2:55 remaining, but the Rams scored the final four points of the game to secure the victory.
The Rams shot 47% from the floor in the game and held a 20-12 advantage in points in the paint. Wheelock shot just 29% from the field in the game and held a 9-4 edge in second chance points.
The Rams are back in action on Tuesday evening when they travel to Tufts for a non-conference contest at 7 p.m., while the Wildcats hosts Wentworth next Thursday in non-conference action at 7:30 p.m.