SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Senior guard Rick Johnson (Springfield, MA) led a balanced scoring attack with a game-high 22 points as the Western New England College men’s basketball team defeated Keene State 90-72 for its first victory of the season Tuesday night (Nov. 24) at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
Johnson had one of the top performances of his career after adding six rebounds, six assists, and two steals.
The Golden Bears’ reserves play a hug role in the win by contributing 31 points as sophomore guard Andre Shaw (Jamaica, NY) netted 16 points after making 7-of-9 shots, including both three-pointers.
Junior guard Chris Devine (Wilbraham, MA) had perhaps the best game of his career with 14 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.
Also hitting the double figure mark were senior guard Mike Booker (Springfield, MA) with 14 points and senior forward Brendan Murphy (West Springfield, MA) with 10 points. Booker was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field (including a three-pointer) and 5-for-5 from the foul line. He also blocked two shots.
Western New England College (1-3) led 46-36 at halftime and had a 16-point advantage at 65-49 following a pair of free throws by Johnson with 12:16 left.
Keene State (2-2) went on a 13-0 run to get within 65-62 after a basket by freshman guard Geoffrey Woodbury (Hyde Park, MA) with 8:17 remaining. Freshman forward Orlando Zayas (Boston, MA) helped the Owls get back in the contest by scoring all five of his points in a two-minute span to start the comeback.
WNEC maintained its composure and gradually built the lead back up to eight at 74-66 when Johnson again converted a pair of charity shots at the 4:30 mark. Woodbury’s basket made it 74-67 just 28 seconds later, but the visitors were able to score only five points the rest of the way.
Sophomore forward Derek D’Amours (Agawam, MA) led Keene state with 17 points and six rebounds. Woodbury finished with 12 points and seven rebounds coming off the bench while sophomore forward Cody Snow (Leyden, MA) chipped-in with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Western New England College shot 49.2% from the field and held KSC to only 28.2% despite the Owls having a big 61-41 edge in rebounding with 31 offensive boards.