Golden Bears Drop Regular Season Finale to Roger Williams, 88-73

Mike McGuire scored a team-high 19 points in Western New England's 88-73 loss to Roger Williams on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Mike McGuire scored a team-high 19 points in Western New England's 88-73 loss to Roger Williams on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

WNE earns No. 5 seed in CCC Tournament, will travel to No. 4 Endicott on Tuesday night

BRISTOL, R.I. (February 16, 2019) – The Western New England University men's basketball team dropped its regular season finale to Roger Williams University, 88-73, on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the RWU Campus Rec Center.

Western New England (11-14, 8-8 CCC) will enter the CCC Tournament as the No. 5 seed with a first round matchup at No. 4 seed Endicott College on Tuesday night. Roger Williams (14-11, 11-5 CCC) earns the No. 3 seed, and the Hawks will host No. 6 seed University of New England on Tuesday.

Top Performers
Junior guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) scored a team-high 19 points for the Golden Bears on 8-of-17 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Sophomore guard Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) made 7-of-13 field goal attempts and 3-of-6 from long range on his way to a 17-point, six-rebound effort, while senior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) added 14 points, two assists & two steals.

Roger Williams senior guard Austin Coene (Tyngsboro, Mass.) powered the Hawks with a double-double performance, as he poured in a game-high 30 points on 14-of-20 shooting and collected a game-high 13 rebounds to go with four assists and two steals.

Senior guard Jake Heaton (Shelton, Conn.) and sophomore forward Drew Hart (Cheshire, Conn.) contributed 15 points each for the home team, and junior guard Rich Pugliese (Middlebury, Conn.) added ten.

Game Review
Western New England trailed 8-4 early in the contest before the Golden Bears posted a 5-0 run and pulled ahead for the first time on a McGuire three-pointer at the 17:04 mark.

The Hawks quickly regained the lead however, and they stretched their advantage to seven (18-11) following a layup by Doug Hostetler (Somers, Conn.) with 8:52 left in the half.

Western New England closed the gap to one (20-19) after sophomore Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) knocked down a triple a minute and a half later, but Roger Williams responded with an 8-0 spurt to push its lead back to nine (28-19) with 4:38 remaining. The Hawks led by as much as 11 (33-22) before settling for a ten-point (35-25) halftime cushion.

The two teams traded baskets early in the second half, with Western New England closing the gap to five (41-36) on a Sikorski trey 2:20 into the frame.

Sikorski drained another from long range at the 14:58 mark to make it a seven-point contest (46-39), but Roger Williams was able to restore its ten-point advantage (51-41) when Hart hit a three with 14:14 to play.

The Hawks stretched their lead to 14 (55-41) on a layup by JJ Pfohl (Trumbull, Conn.) at 12:54, and shots continued to fall for Roger Williams down the stretch as the home team pulled away late.

• Western New England shot 55 percent (22-of-40) from the field in the second half after connecting at a 32.3 percent (10-of-31) clip over the opening 20 minutes. Roger Williams was on fire in the second half with a 77.8 percent (21-of-27) showing after shooting 51.7 percent (15-of-29) in the opening frame.
• The Hawks outrebounded the Golden Bears 40-27 and held a 31-10 advantage in bench points.