Golden Bears Comeback Bid Falls Shy at Gordon, 79-71

Golden Bears Comeback Bid Falls Shy at Gordon, 79-71
WENHAM, Mass.--The Western New England University men's basketball team staged a valiant comeback for the last 10 minutes of its game at Gordon on Tuesday, but the Fighting Scots hung on for a 79-71 victory in Commonwealth Coast Conference action at the Bennett Athletics and Recreation Center. The Golden Bears slip to 6-11 overall, and 4-6 in the CCC, while the Fighting Scots improve to 12-5 and 7-3 in the conference.

Junior Dennis Rinaldi led Western New England with 18 points and sophomore Musa Elsir added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Junior Ryan Mickiewicz scored seven points, grabbed four rebounds and dished four assists to have a solid outing.

David Dempsey led four Gordon scorers in double digits with a game-high 25 points, followed by Park Thomas with 13 and Alex Carnes and Hans Miersma chipped in 11 apiece.

Western New England was trailing 68-51 with 8 minutes and 3 seconds left when junior Kevin Wilkes scored his only points of the game on a jumper following a visitor's timeout, sparking a 15-4 run over a 4:28 span to close within 72-66. Mickiewicz scored five points during that stretch.

After a Gordon timeout, Thomas and Miersma converted baskets on consecutive possessions to put the Fighting Scots back up by double digits, 76-66, with 1:47 to go.

But the Golden Bears responded with a 5-0 mini-run on an Elsir trey and Rinaldi jumper to pull within five points at 76-71 at the 0:57 mark.

The Fighting Scots, however, kept WNE at bay by making three of four free throws in the final minute to secure the win.

The Golden Bears shot fairly well from the field at 42.6 percent, including a 41.7 3-point clip, but Gordon was even better with percentages of .545 and .667, respectively. Western New England also took care of the basketball, charged with only seven turnovers, and enjoyed a 40-30 rebounding advantage.