Golden Bears Withstand Late Rally to Earn 93-80 Victory over Salve Regina

Tim Reilly finished with 19 points, 5 assists & 4 rebounds in Western New England's 93-80 win over Salve Regina on Tuesday night. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Tim Reilly finished with 19 points, 5 assists & 4 rebounds in Western New England's 93-80 win over Salve Regina on Tuesday night. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Western New England climbs back to .500 (7-7) in CCC play

NEWPORT, R.I. (February 5, 2019) – The Western New England University men's basketball team held off Salve Regina University down the stretch to earn a 93-80 victory over the Seahawks on Tuesday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at Rodgers Recreation Center.

Top Performers
Western New England's starting unit carried the load, as all five starters scored in double figures.

Senior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) led the way, producing a game-high 27 points, ten assists, five rebounds and five steals. Pettway shot 5-of-12 from the field but was nearly perfect at the charity stripe, going 17-for-18.

Junior Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) made 6-of-10 field goals, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, on his way to a 19-point, five-assist, four-rebound performance.

Sophomore Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) finished with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting, while junior Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) and sophomore Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) added 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Salve Regina sophomore guard Kevin Kelly (Valhalla, N.Y.) paced five Seahawks in double figures with a team-high 22 points, five assists and four steals.

Game Review
Trailing 12-9 early in the first half, Western New England tied the score on a Tavitian three-pointer before pulling back ahead (15-12) when Reilly connected from beyond the arc at the 15:21 mark.

The triples by Tavitian and Reilly were part of a 20-4 Western New England run that saw the Golden Bears open up a 28-16 advantage with 11:56 left in the half.

Salve cut its deficit to seven (33-26) with 5:23 to play and the Seahawks eventually got as close as two (37-35) with 2:32 remaining after freshman Mikey Spencer (Abington, Mass.) scored five straight points for the home team.

Sikorski answered with a three-pointer for the Golden Bears, however, and Western New England closed out the half with a 9-3 run to claim a 46-38 lead at the break.

Salve quickly got back into the game early in the second half, as the Seahawks needed just three minutes to erase their eight-point halftime deficit. Sophomore Cameron Collins (Oakdale, Conn.) had five points during Salve's early surge as the home team tied the score at 48-48.  

Led by Pettway, the Golden Bears regained the momentum over the next three and a half minutes. The senior scored eight points during an 11-3 run that put Western New England up 59-51 with 13:32 to play.

The Golden Bears maintained a comfortable advantage and led by as much as 13 (74-61) after Reilly hit a three-pointer with 8:27 on the clock.

Salve put together one final rally later in the half, as the Seahawks used a 5-0 run to close the gap to four (77-73) at the 4:26 mark, but Western New England made six of its final eight field goal attempts to pull away and seal the win.

Notes
• Western New England shot 54.4 percent from the field, marking the fifth time in the last six games the Golden Bears have shot over 50 percent.
• Western New England recorded 23 assists on their 31 made field goals, and the Golden Bears scored 41 points off of Salve's 27 turnovers.
• With his 27-point effort, Pettway moved past Eric Stewart '01 into fourth place on the program's all-time scoring list with 1618 career points. Pettway is also within 16 assists of matching Mike O'Connor '03 for the all-time record of 480.  

Up Next
Western New England (10-13, 7-7 CCC) is off until next Wednesday, when the Golden Bears return home to host Endicott at the AHLC. Salve (8-15, 4-10 CCC) travels to Gordon on Saturday.