FITCHBURG, Mass. – The Elms College men's basketball team couldn't overcome a slow second half on Tuesday, falling 82-70 at Fitchburg State.
The Blazers (0-6) jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first half and shot 51.6 percent from the field over the first 20 minutes, but shot just 26.7 percent in the second as the Falcons (2-4) took control of the game.
Pablo Ortiz (Newington, Conn.) led four Blazer double-digit scorers with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting. Ortiz hit three 3-pointers and added eight boards in the game. Michal Ohradka (Feeding Hills, Mass.) added 16 points, four rebounds and three assists before fouling out. Andre Peguero (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and Justin Feliciano (Springfield, Mass.) each added 11 points for the Blazers and Nikolas Brown (Wellington, Fla.) grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds.
Tayjaun McKenzie (Lynn, Mass.) scored a game-high 21 points off the bench for Fitchburg State, going 7-of-12 from the field and 5-of-9 from 3-point range. Kameron Jimenez-Fox (Boston, Mass.) and Jonathan Perez (Lowell, Mass.) each scored 16 points for the Falcons and Nicholas Tracy (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Jordan Jones (Worcester, Mass.) added 10 apiece.
Elms led 31-21 with 6:30 to play in the first half but Fitchburg State out-scored the Blazers 18-10 over the remainder of the half to cut the deficit to just two, 41-39, at the break. The Blazers and Falcons traded leads a few times over the first eight minutes of the second half before the Falcons used a 9-0 run to take a 58-51 advantage that they would never relinquish.
The Blazers shot 39.3 percent (24-of-61) from the field for the game while Fitchburg State hit 43.1 percent (31-of-72) of its attempts. Elms was nearly perfect at the free throw line, hitting 15-of-17 (88.2 percent) of its attempts. The Blazers committed 16 turnovers in the game, the team's second-fewest this season, and won the points-off-turnover battle by converting 13 FSU giveaways into 21 points. Fitchburg State won the rebounding battle 46-35.
Elms hosts Westfield State on Dec. 1 at 3:00 p.m. in the final tune-up before New England Collegiate Conference play begins at Mitchell on Dec. 4.