Shooting Woes Stymie Golden Bears in 70-53 Non-Conference Loss at Westfield State

WESTFIELD, Mass.--Sophomore Zack Askew tallied 19 points to lead all scorers, but the Western New England men's basketball team suffered a 70-53 setback on Tuesday evening at Westfield State in a non-conference game at the Woodward Center. The visiting Golden Bears saw their two-game win streak snapped to fall to 2-4 on the season, while the Owls improve to 4-1.

Askew made 6 of 11 shots from the field and 7-of-10 free throw attempts while also pulling down eight rebounds. Junior Musa Elsir added 15 points before fouling out.

Jordan Santiago and Robby Jones each scored 13 points to lead the Owls, who outscored WNE 39 to 26 in the second half after leading by just four at the break, 31-27. Carl Stewart also reached double digits with 11 points.

Western New England enjoyed a 16-8 offensive rebounding edge (and 35 to 33 overall), but shot only 28.3 percent on 60 field goal attempts. Westfield made 24 of 53 field goals for a .453 clip.

Reigning Commonwealth Coast Conference Player of the Week senior Dennis Rinaldi had an uncharacteristic off-night as the Owls held him 18 points below his scoring average.

Senior Nick DeFeo knocked down a couple free throws to stake WNE to its biggest lead at 15-9 midway through the first half, but Jesus Sanchez scored five points to ignite a 12-4 run that put Westfield up for good at 21-19.

In the second half, DeFeo made a jump shot to cut the deficit to 36-34 with 15:55 left before Bobby Jones nailed a 3-pointer and completed a traditional three-point play to ignite a 17-2 Westfield run to go up 53-36.

Western New England will have its CCC opener at home against Curry on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.