Western New England Drops Season-Opening Showdown to No. 7 Springfield, 95-84

Mikey Pettway opened his senior campaign with a 28-point effort on Thursday in Western New England's 95-84 loss to Springfield College. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Mikey Pettway opened his senior campaign with a 28-point effort on Thursday in Western New England's 95-84 loss to Springfield College. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Pettway leads Golden Bears with 28 points

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (November 8, 2018) – The Western New England University men's basketball team came up just short in a 95-84, season-opening setback to No. 7 nationally ranked Springfield College on Thursday evening at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.

Top Performers
Western New England was led by senior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.), who scored a team-high 28 points to go with four assists and three rebounds.

Junior Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) and sophomores Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) also posted double-figure scoring efforts for the Golden Bears.

McGuire went 9-for-9 at the free throw line and finished with 16 points, four boards and three assists, while Sikorski shot 5-of-10 from beyond the arc on his way to a 15-point, eight-rebound performance. Tavitian totaled 12 points (5-of-8 shooting) and six rebounds.

Junior guard Jake Ross (Northampton, Mass.) powered the Pride with 35 points, 16 rebounds and six assists.

Senior Cam Earle (South Hadley, Mass.) also had a big night for Springfield with 24 points that included a 6-of-8 showing from three-point distance.

Game Review
Western New England, which led by one (44-43) at the break after closing out the first half with a 12-3 run, extended its advantage to seven (52-45) three minutes into the second period following a Pettway layup that forced a Springfield timeout.

The Golden Bears eventually stretched their lead to nine (59-50) on a pair of Pettway free throws, before an 11-0 Springfield run fueled by Ross allowed the Pride to pull ahead 61-59 with 12:24 remaining.

The visitors rode their momentum to a 66-61 lead following a Trey Witter (Unionville, Conn.) corner triple at the 11:25 mark, but Western New England surged back ahead (67-66) with a 6-0 run that culminated in a Pettway jumper midway through the half.

The score remained close the rest of the way, as neither team was able to build more than a three-point lead until the Pride went up 83-79 with 4:13 to play after four straight points by freshman Daryl Costa (Providence, R.I.).

With the Golden Bears still trailing by four two minutes later, an Earle three-pointer as the shot clock wound down gave the visitors a seven-point cushion. Ross added four late points for the Pride as Springfield extended the final margin to 11.

Notes
• Western New England shot 36.1 percent from the field, including 18.2 percent from beyond the arc, in the second half. The Golden Bears connected at a 48.4 percent clip over the opening 20 minutes, including 63.6 percent from three-point range.
• The Pride outscored the Golden Bears 52-40 in the second half with the help of 54.2 percent shooting overall and 60 percent from deep.    

Up Next
Western New England (0-1) will be back at home on Saturday against Emmanuel, while Springfield (1-0) travels to Keene State next Tuesday.