Strong Second Half Lifts Western New England to 97-79 Victory over Wentworth

Junior Mike McGuire was among five double-figure scorers with 18 points in Western New England's 97-79 win over Wentworth on Tuesday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Junior Mike McGuire was among five double-figure scorers with 18 points in Western New England's 97-79 win over Wentworth on Tuesday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Balanced Golden Bear offense features five double figure scorers

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 22, 2019) – A strong second half performance lifted the Western New England University men's basketball team to a 97-79 victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology on Tuesday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.

Top Performers
Western New England's balanced offensive effort featured five double figure scorers. Sophomore Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) led the way with 20 points, seven rebounds and three steals, while senior Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) added 19 points and four assists.

Junior Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) turned in a perfect shooting night, as he went 6-for-6 from the field, 4-for-4 from three-point range, and 2-for-2 from the free throw line, on his way to an 18-point, five-assist performance.

Junior Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) contributed ten points, while freshman Antonio Brancato (Fairfield, Conn.) had 11 off the bench.

Wentworth junior forward Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) powered the Leopards with a game-high 25 points, six rebounds and three assists.

Freshman guard Noah Bice (Woodacre, Calif.) was also a key contributor for the visitors with 21 points and four assists.

Game Review
The Golden Bears got off to a strong start offensively, making five of their first six field goal attempts en route to a 14-8 lead just under five minutes into the contest. Sikorski led the way for Western New England with seven early points.

A Sikorski three-pointer at the 12:43 mark put the Golden Bears up eight (20-12), before freshman Kenny Flynn (Dudley, Mass.) connected from long range two minutes later to give the home team its first double-digit advantage (26-16).

Western New England led by as much as 11 (36-25) in the first half following a Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) triple with 6:08 on the clock, but the Leopards outscored the Golden Bears 14-7 the rest of the way to pull to within four (43-39) at the break.

Western New England was able to restore its ten-point lead (57-47) after Flynn completed a traditional three-point play six minutes into the second half.

After Wentworth closed the gap to five (59-54), the Golden Bears regained the momentum with a 12-2 run, which culminated in a Sikorski three-pointer that put Western New England up 15 (71-56) with 8:41 to play.

The Leopards pulled to within ten on multiple occasions later in the half, the last of which came on a Bice layup that made it 87-77 with 2:20 remaining.

Western New England held Wentworth to just two points the rest of the way, however, while tacking on late free throws to pull away down the stretch.

Notes
• The Golden Bears shot 59.3 percent from the field and 90 percent from the free throw line while turning the ball over just eight times.
• Western New England's win snaps a five-game losing streak against the Leopards. Before tonight, the Golden Bears' last victory over Wentworth came on February 2, 2016 in Boston.
• Western New England is now tied with Wentworth for fifth place in the CCC standings.

Up Next
Both teams will be back in action on Saturday, as Western New England (7-12, 4-6 CCC) travels to Biddeford, Maine to take on the University of New England, and Wentworth (6-12, 4-6 CCC) returns home to host Roger Williams.