Men’s Basketball Falls to Westfield State in Non-Conference Action, 84-79

Kenny Flynn recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds in Western New England's 84-79 loss to Westfield State on Tuesday night. (Photo by Kieran Lombard)
Kenny Flynn recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds in Western New England's 84-79 loss to Westfield State on Tuesday night. (Photo by Kieran Lombard)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Westfield State University men's basketball team surged past Western New England University in the second half to earn an 84-79 win over the Golden Bears on Tuesday night in non-conference action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.

Top Performers
Western New England's balanced offense featured five double-figure scorers, led by senior guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.), who scored a game-high 16 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc. Senior guard Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) recorded 14 points, four rebounds and three assists, while junior guard Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and senior guard Nick DeGennaro (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Sophomore forward Kenny Flynn (Dudley, Mass.) registered his first career double-double off the bench with 11 points and 13 boards.

Junior forward Justin Rennis (Springfield, Mass.) paced the Owls with a double-double effort as he totaled 13 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals. Westfield State received strong contributions off the bench from junior guard Malik Pouncy (Mattapan, Mass.) and freshman guard Brendon Hamilton (Worcester, Mass.), who scored 15 and 13 points, respectively. Senior forward Jauch Green, Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) added 13 points, five rebounds and two assists for the visitors.

Game Review
Western New England built an early 8-4 advantage over Westfield State with the help of triples from DeGennaro and McGuire. The Golden Bears remained in front until Westfield State pulled ahead (20-19) on a three-pointer Green, Jr. with 9:22 left in the opening half.

Late in the period, Western New England took its largest lead of the night (41-31) after Reilly connected from long range, and the Golden Bears held a 41-34 edge at the break.

Western New England led by the same margin (48-41) following a DeGennaro three-pointer just over three minutes into the second half. Sophomore Antonio Brancato (Fairfield, Conn.) knocked down a jumper on the Golden Bear's next possession to make it a nine-point game (50-41).

Westfield State responded with a 14-0 run, however, that Hamilton bookended with layups at the 16:03 and 12:38 marks, respectively, as the Owls surged ahead 55-50. Westfield State never trailed after that point.

The visitors went up by as much as ten (74-64) after senior guard Vawn Lord (West Springfield, Mass.) sank 1-of-2 free throws with 5:38 remaining in the game.

The Golden Bears mounted a late comeback led by McGuire, who connected from beyond the arc with 1:25 to play to cut the deficit to two (81-79), but that would be as close as Western New England got.

Notes
• Western New England shot 45.2% from the field, while Westfield State posted a 46.8% shooting clip.
• The Owls held a commanding 52-32 advantage on the glass.
• Westfield State's bench outscored the Golden Bear reserves 38-20.

Up Next
Western New England (3-2) travels to New York City this weekend to play two games at the NYU Tip-Off Tournament, beginning with a contest against FDU-Florham on Saturday night. Westfield State (2-2) returns home to face Emmanuel on Saturday.