The Fitchburg State women’s basketball team suffered a 67-56 setback to Elms College Saturday afternoon in non-conference action from the Picknelly Arena.
Elms raced out to an early 7-0 edge on a pair of layups from junior Rahmia Johnston before the Falcons (3-16, 1-5 MASCAC) responded with an 8-0 run as sophomore Caileen Hurley, freshman Aliza Som and sophomore Rylie Harlow netted buckets.
The Blazers regained an 11-8 advantage as graduate student Brianna Metellus hit a jumper, but the Falcons knotted the score at 11 with junior Olivia Almeida burying a 3-pointer.
The Blazers grabbed a 15-11 edge with Johnston notching another layup early in the second quarter, but the Falcons answered back with Harlow and sophomore Stephanie Hart registering baskets for a 16-15 advantage.
Fitchburg State upped the margin to 24-20 when senior Lindsay McDonald hit a jumper before Elms took the lead back 28-25 on a Talia Urbe bucket.
Following the halftime break, Fitchburg State trimmed the deficit to 32-29 when Harlow connected on a fast break layup, but Elms responded with a Metellus bucket to push the lead to 34-29. The two teams traded baskets over the next two minutes as Elms lead 38-34.
The Green and Gold continued to battle, cutting the lead to 46-39 with sophomore Morgan Genness and Almeida converting jumpers before the Blazers extended the lead to 53-42 on a pair of free throws by newcomer Kayla Jackson.
The Falcons opened the fourth frame with Harlow draining a jumper and a 3-pointer, while freshman Juliana Davis added a bucket to make the score 53-50 before the Blazers upped the advantage to 59-52 with Metellus posting a bucket.
Fitchburg State answered with a Harlow jumper, but Elms secured the victory on a Metellus 3-pointer.
The Falcons were led by Harlow, who scored a team-leading 17 points and added five rebounds and four assists. Almeida added 12 points, five caroms, two steals, two blocks and an assist in the setback.
For the Blazers, Johnston finished with a game-best 20 points, six boards, four assists and one steal.
Fitchburg State is now 8-7 all-time when taking on Elms, which held a 54-34 edge in rebounds.
The Falcons return to action on Wednesday as they travel to MCLA to take on the Trailblazers in MASCAC action, starting at 7 p.m.
Lunenburg had a pair of strong performances at the State Coaches Invitational (Small Schools) on Saturday.
Abby Rodriquenz placed fifth in the 1000m run with a time of 3:09.50 and the 4x800m relay (Lauren Long, Breanna Bajko, Olivia Coronella, Rodriquenz placed third with a time of 10:15.20.