Western New England College opens �The Cave� with win in battle of Bears

The CaveSPRINGFIELD, Mass. – In a battle of the Bears, senior point guard Asif Abdul-Wadud (Springfield, MA) scored 18 points and Western New England College received a big lift from its bench in posting an 83-72 victory over visiting Bridgewater State in a non-league men’s basketball game Saturday afternoon (Dec. 8) at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.

The WNEC Golden Bears get back to the .500 mark at 4-4 while the BSC Bears fall to 2-5.

Before the contest, the Western New England College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) opened “The Cave” section in the bleachers and a boisterous crowd of 625 (mostly students) attended the game.

Abdul-Wadud, a former standout at nearby Sabis International, also dished out eight assists, grabbed six rebounds, and had a blocked shot.

Senior guard Ryan Hernandez (Hampton Bays, NY) came off the bench and also netted 18 points (12 in the second half) on 6-of-10 shooting from the field (5-for-9 three-pointers)

Junior forward Kyle Fredette (Wallington, VT) had his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points (11 after intermission) and 12 rebounds, along with three blocks. Junior guard Matt Maynard (Paterson, NJ) was the fourth WNEC player in double figures with 11 points with five rebounds.

Sophomore guard Chris DeVine (Wilbraham, MA) scored only five points, but had six rebounds along with a career high eight assists.

The Western New England College reserves combined for 31 points in the game.

Bridgewater State scored the first basket of the game on a lay-up by freshman guard Cesar Oliveira (Taunton, MA) for its only lead of the contest. Western New England College scored the next nine points and led by as many as 12 in the opening half before taking a 40-31 advantage at the break.

Trailing by 10 points three minutes into the second half, the visiting Bears scored seven straight points to get within 48-45 on a pair of free throws by sophomore center Jim Torney (Braintree, MA) at the 15:25 mark.

Two baskets by Abdul-Wadud, two free throws by sophomore forward Brendan Murphy (West Springfield, MA) (8 points off the bench) and six points by Hernandez on two baskets (including a three) and one charity shot gave the hosts a 62-51 lead with 10:41 remaining in the game.

Fredette’s lay-up gave the Golden Bears another 11-point margin (71-60) before Oliveira scored six straight points as Bridgewater State moved within five at the 3:58 juncture. Fredette then converted a three-point lay for another 10-point margin (76-66) with 3:11 left and the BSC Bears couldn’t catch up.

Bridgewater also had four players in double figures led by senior guard Tom Cuddihy (Scituate, MA) who tallied a game high 22 points, Torney finished with 14 points while Oliveira contributed 13. Junior forward Roland Millien (Stoughton, MA) had a solid outing with a double-double of 10 points (5-of-7 from the field) and 11 rebounds.

This was the highest scoring total of the season for the Golden Bears who now take a break for exams and the holidays.