By Kurtis Kendall
The 2018-19 regular season for the Fitchburg State’s men’s basketball team has come to a close. The Falcons began the year 1-4, playing tough opponents in non-conference games. By the end of 2018, Fitchburg State was 3-8 and it looked like a tall order for the squad to find their form.
But once the new year rolled around, Fitchburg State found a rhythm that saw the squad go 9-5 over their last 14 games. In this period, the Falcons had a four game winning streak and ended the season with four wins in their final five contests.
“I know they’re a tough group of guys,” said Falcons head coach Titus Manderson about his squad, “they play the right way, and play hard out there on the court.”
The Falcons benefited from being able to battle their in-conference rivals, going 7-5 against them throughout the season, an improvement on last year’s 6-6 in-conference record.
Despite the rough start to the season, the Falcons finished 12-13, a one game improvement from the previous season. The team had the same number of road and home wins as last season, five and seven respectively, emphasizing the advantage that Fitchburg has at home at the Falcon’s Nest.
The Falcons improved across the board in many team statistics. Fitchburg State averaged more points, rebounds, and assists per game as a team this season than last year. The Falcons also shot the ball better, with noticeable increases in field goal percentage and three point field goal percentage.
Junior guard Nicholas Tracy lead the team in scoring with 14.3 points per game, as well as in assists per game with 3.0. Junior forward Anselm Edegbe lead the Falcons in rebounding with almost 5 per game (4.9) despite only starting in 11 of Fitchburg’s 25 games.
With all these factors put together, time will tell if this year’s improved Falcons squad can replicate last season’s postseason success and make it back to the MASCAC Championship game.
Fitchburg State plays at Westfield State tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the MASCAC semi-final.