Westfield, Mass.—The Western New England University men's basketball team was bested 83-68 by Westfield State on Saturday afternoon at the Woodward Center.
The Golden Bears had three players in double figures. Sophomore forward Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) had 17 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Freshman guard Antonio Brancato (Fairfield, Conn.) also finished with a career-high 17 points hitting 8/10 from the free throw line.
Senior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) finished with 16 points, four assists, and two steals.
Jauch Green Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) led the Owls who filled the stat sheet with a team-high 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks. Marcus Collins (Cambridge, Mass.) and Peter Mafo (Lynn, Mass.) both scored 14 and Christopher Profet (Springfield, Mass.) tallied 11 points.
The Golden Bears opened up the game to a 9-6 lead after Tavitian hit a pair of threes and Mike Maguire (Garden City, NY) hit another triple. From there, the Owls and Golden Bears traded baskets for most of the half. Tavitian led the way with 11 in the first half. Off the bench, Brancato provided a spark with six points in the first half.
The Owls shot 64.4% from the field in the first half. Profet and Collins paced an 8-2 run over a quick two minutes to regain the lead at 14:36.
Western New England would get the deficit as close as one several times in the half. Westifield would again grow their lead over the last five minutes. With 1:23 reminaing in the half, a Mafo jump shot would push the Owls' lead to 13, largest of the half. Reid Killeen would score in the post to get one more Golden Bear bucket before the half.
In the second half, there was a scoring drought for both teams from 17:07 until 14:44 mark. Mafo ended the drought for the Owls with a three to make the lead 52-38 in favor of the home team. With 11:09 remaining, Pettway would make a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 10, but Westfield never let it get closer than that.
The Owls would push their lead to 15 off layups from Green and Collins, securing the home victory at 83-68.
- Brancato's 17 points was a career-high for the freshman
- Westfield State outscored Western New England in the paint, 50-20
The Golden Bears (2-7, 0-3 CCC) come back in action after the holiday break in the Trinity College Holiday Invitational against Southern Maine on December 30 at 7pm. Westfield State (5-4) will face Pine Manor College Tuesday, December 11 at 6pm.