SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — In the best performance of his young career, sophomore forward Jim Bayne (Bristol, CT) overcame an injury and uniform change to tie his career high with 28 points to lead Western New England College to a thrilling 64-58 overtime victory over Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) leader Norwich University.
Bayne made 13-of-19 shots from the field, both of his free throws, and pulled down seven rebounds as the Golden Bears improved their record to 15-7 (11-4 GNAC) with their fifth straight win.
THE 6'4" Bayne had four points in the first 10 minutes of the game before suffering an injury to the side of his head that forced him to miss the rest of the half. With his uniform bloodied, Bayne switched from his number 31 to number 20 after intermission and scored all 22 of the Golden Bears' in the half (making 10-of-13 shots from the field) as the game ended in a 51-51 tie after regulation.
Norwich (15-6, 12-3) took its first lead of the game at 53-51 on a basket by junior center Marc Jones (Cincinnati, OH) 25 seconds into the extra session. His free throw with 2:42 left gave the Cadets their final lead at 54-53.
Junior guard Jon Godbout (Bristol, CT) (11 points) then scored the next six points for the Golden Bears for a 61-56 advantage with 24 seconds remaining.
Western New England College took a 29-24 half-time lead thanks to the outstanding play pf senior point guard Jeremy Sternstein (Ithaca, NY) who scored 15 points. Sternstein, who made 6-of-8 shots from the field and all three of his foul shots, was injured driving to the basket as the half ended and didn't return.
Junior guard Geoff Hensley (Cincinnati, OH) led the Cadets with 17 points after making 5-of-7 shots from floor (including 3-of-5 three-pointers) and all four of his charity shots. Sophomore forward Rene Cheatham (Cincinnati, OH) added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Norwich also had its seven-game winning streak snapped in the process
This was a interesting game from a statistics standpoint.
Western New England College was 0-for-14 in three-pointers, but 16-of-20 from the foul line. The Golden Bears were out-rebounded by a 41 to 35 margin, but forced 22 turnovers.
Bayne connected on 10-of-13 shots from the field in the second, but the rest of his teammates went 0-for-13 Godbout was the only player on both sides to play the entire 45 minutes.
Western New England College is 9-1 at home this season.