Seniors Pave the Way in Last Home Appearance in Rout of UNE, 69-47

Seniors Pave the Way in Last Home Appearance in Rout of UNE, 69-47
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--The Western New England University men's basketball team raced to a huge lead on Saturday against the University of New England and celebrated Senior Night with a convincing 69-47 triumph over the visiting Nor'easters at the Alumni Healthful Living Center field house. The Golden Bears end their regular season with a 9-16 overall record and 7-11 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, while UNE finishes at 5-20 and 4-14 in the league.

Senior co-captain James Hock scored six points to spark the Golden Bears to a 16-0 lead in the opening 4 minutes and 28 seconds. In the second half, Hock punctuated his final home appearance with the first 3-point field goal of his career to finish the afternoon with nine points. He was an inspiration to a team that made 6 of its first 8 field goal attempts.
Western New England senior co-captain Damon Alston led all players with 19 points, including five treys.

The Nor'easters didn't get on the scoreboard until the 15:15 mark when Jesse Dykstra converted a traditional three-point play. The Golden Bears led 16-3.

Devin Thompson was the only UNE scorer in double-digits with 13 points off the bench. Dykstra added seven, also off the bench. Sam Simpson contributed nine points on a trio of treys.

UNE was able to slice the double-digit deficit down to eight, 24-16, when Simpson drained a 3-pointer with 8:25 left in the first half, capping a 13-6 run that included three 3-pointers on consecutive possessions.

But the Golden Bears responded by scoring the final 15 points of the half to take a commanding 39-16 lead into the locker room. UNE's last 15 offensive trips included 12 missed shots from either the 3-point arc or inside the paint as well as three turnovers. Western New England shot 52 percent from the field while holding UNE to 30.0 percent.

In the second half, Western New England's lead ballooned to as much as 30 points, 52-22, on a dunk by 6-foot freshman guard Sinclair Lewis (7 points).

Western New England also held a 34-29 edge on the glass as Musa Elsir (8 points) grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds to top all players. Alex Alsadi and Dykstra paced UNE with four apiece.