Western New England Rides First Half Offensive Outburst to 104-88 Victory at UNE

Alex Sikorski scored a game-high 21 points in Western New England's 104-88 win over UNE on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Alex Sikorski scored a game-high 21 points in Western New England's 104-88 win over UNE on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Golden Bears make 13-of-18 three-pointers during first 20 minutes of play

BIDDEFORD, Maine (January 26, 2019) – The Western New England University men's basketball team opened up a 65-36 halftime advantage on its way to a 104-88 triumph over the University of New England on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at Harold Alfond Forum.

Top Performers
Western New England again employed a balanced offensive performance with five players reaching double figures.

Sophomore guard Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) paced the Golden Bears with a game-high 21 points and five rebounds.

Junior Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) made all six of his field goal attempts, including a 4-for-4 effort from three-point distance, on his way to a 16-point, five-assist, four-rebound performance.

Senior Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) and sophomore Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) finished with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists apiece, while junior Nick DeGennaro (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) chipped in with 11 points off the bench.

UNE was led by sophomore guard Alex Kravchuk (Mansfield, Conn.), who produced a team-high 17 points.

Senior Daron Hoges, Jr. (West Orange, N.J.) and junior Avery Debrito (New Bedford, Mass.) added 14 points each for the Nor'easters.

Game Review
Western New England set the tone early, as McGuire and Sikorski both knocked down triples in the opening minute before a Pettway layup made it 8-0 in favor of the Golden Bears.

Western New England took its first double-digit lead (22-10) on a Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) three-pointer five minutes into the contest, and the Golden Bears led by the same margin (30-18) following a Pettway layup midway through the half.

The visitors began to add to their cushion late in the frame, as Sikorski hit back-to-back threes as part of an 8-0 that put WNE up 51-30 with 4:20 on the clock.

Western New England closed out the final three and a half minutes with a 12-2 spurt that included treys from DeGennaro, freshman Antonio Brancato (Fairfield, Conn.) and Sikorski to extend the cushion to 29 at the break.

The Golden Bears held their largest lead (70-40) following a McGuire triple early in the second half, and Western New England still led by 28 (78-50) with 13:04 remaining, before the Nor'easters began to chip away at their deficit.

UNE got to within 20 (80-60) when Hoges, Jr. made 1-of-2 at the free throw line with 10:50 remaining, and the Nor'easters eventually closed the gap to 13 (90-77) at the 3:15 mark.

Western New England never let the home team get closer than that, however, as they held on down the stretch for the win.

Notes
• Western New England shot 66.7 percent from the field (24-of-36), including 72.2 percent from beyond the arc (13-of-18) in the first half.
• The Golden Bears have now won four consecutive CCC contests for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

Up Next
Western New England (8-12, 5-6 CCC) will look to extend its winning streak to four games on Wednesday night at Nichols, while UNE (5-15, 3-8 CCC) remains at home to host Curry.