Rebounding, Shooting Woes Hurt Western New England at Gordon College

WENHAM, Mass.--Senior Dennis Rinaldi led three Golden Bears in double-figures with 12 points, but an off-night shooting and rebounding the basketball on Tuesday hurt the Western New England University men's basketball team in a 73-57 loss at Gordon in Commonwealth Coast Conference action at the Bennett Center. The Golden Bears slip to 6-13 on the season, including 4-9 in the CCC, while the Fighting Scots improve to 11-8 overall and 9-4 in the league.

Senior Ryan Mickiewicz and junior Musa Elsir joined Rinaldi in double-digits with 10 points each. Rinaldi also pulled down nine rebounds and nabbed three steals, both leading the team.

Gordon's Park Thomas pumped in a game-high 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including five 3-pointers, in just 27 minutes of action. Alex Carnes added 16 points and seven assists off the bench, and Hans Miersma contributed 10 rebounds.

Western New England shot only 30.3 percent from the field (20-66) and made half of its 26 free throw attempts compared to a 46.8 clip (22-47) from the floor for Gordon.

Gordon raced to a 16-4 lead for the first 6 minutes and 41 seconds after the opening tip, sparked by a couple of treys from Thomas.

After WNE cut the deficit to 17-11, the Fighting Scots upped the lead back to double-figures at 22-11 with 8:29 to go in the first half.

But the Golden Bears didn't wilt and went on a 14-4 run--bookended by 3-pointers from senior Nick DeFeo (8 points, 5 rebounds) and Elsir--over a 3:31 span to pull within 26-25 at the 4:14 mark on the scoreboard clock.

Gordon outscored WNE 13-5 the rest of the way to take a 39-30 lead into halftime.

In the second half, WNE was able to cut the deficit to 5 points, 39-34, on a pair of Elsir free throws, but Gordon quickly took command of the contest with a 14-2 run to make it 53-36. The Fighting Scots, who never trailed on the night, kept the Golden Bears at bay with a double-digit advantage for most of the second half.

Western New England was outrebounded 48 to 35, despite holding a 17-13 edge on the offensive end.

The Golden Bears forced 19 Gordon turnovers that produced 23 points to the Scots' zero on four WNE turnovers, which is a season low.

Western New England returns to the court on Saturday (3 p.m.) against CCC frontrunner Nichols (11-1, 15-4) at home in the Alumni Healthful Living Center. The afternoon will mark Girls and Women in Sports Day for WNE Athletics.