Second Half Rally Falls Short as Lions Hold Off Golden Bears, 61-58

Photo by Riccio Productions
Photo by Riccio Productions

McCourt & McGuire lead Western New England with 17 points each

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 14, 2017) – The Western New England University men's basketball team saw its second half rally fall just short in an 61-58 setback to Eastern Nazarene College this afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.    

Top Performers
• Freshmen Mike McCourt (Lincoln, R.I.) and Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) both posted season-highs for Western New England with 17 points each, while senior forward Daniel Silva (Seekonk, Mass.) added 11 points off the bench. 

• Senior guard Christian Lynch (Alpharetta, Ga.) led Eastern Nazarene with 17 points, six assists and five rebounds.
• Senior forward Corey Doran (Fairfield, Calif.) was also in double figures with ten points and five boards.

Game Review
• Silva opened the game with a triple for Western New England, but Eastern Nazarene answered with an 8-0 run and didn't trail for the remainder of the half.
• McCourt, who led all players with 12 points over the first 20 minutes, knocked down a three-pointer at the 11:11 mark to bring the Golden Bears back to within two (16-14). A layup by junior guard Nelson Zayas (Springfield, Mass.) with 7:26 remaining made it a one-point game (21-20), but Western New England was unable to close the gap as Eastern Nazarene led 31-27 at the half.
• An 8-2 run to start the second half extended the Lions' advantage to ten (39-29) 4:33 into the frame. Led by McGuire and McCourt, the Golden Bears cut their deficit to two (41-39) at the 12:14 mark, but Eastern Nazarene pushed its lead back to ten (53-43) over the next seven minutes.
• Western New England put together one final rally, as McGuire scored five straight points for the Golden Bears and Silva connected from beyond the arc with 3:11 on the clock to make it a three-point game (54-51). Freshman Nick DeGennaro (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) grabbed a key offensive rebound and knocked down a jumper with 2:22 remaining to pull the Golden Bears to within one, but that would be as close as they got.
• Lynch made 1-of-2 free throws with five seconds left to give the Lions a 61-58 lead, and DeGennaro's potential game-tying three-pointer as time expired was off the mark as Eastern Nazarene escaped with the win.

Notes
• Eastern Nazarene shot 55.8% (24-of-43) from the field, while Western New England connected at a 34.5% (19-of-55) clip.
• The Lions held a 30-27 rebounding edge and scored 30 points in the paint.
• McGuire scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half.  

Up Next
Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday night, as Western New England (2-12, 1-7 CCC) hosts Curry and Eastern Nazarene (8-7, 5-3 CCC) returns home to take on the University of New England.