Dominant Second Half Sends Men’s Basketball to 86-62 Win over FDU-Florham in NYU Tip-Off Tournament Opener

Zach Tavitian finished with 19 points, six rebounds and two assists in Western New England's 86-62 win over FDU-Florham at the NYU Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday. (Photo by Chris Marion)
Zach Tavitian finished with 19 points, six rebounds and two assists in Western New England's 86-62 win over FDU-Florham at the NYU Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday. (Photo by Chris Marion)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Western New England University men's basketball team outscored Farleigh Dickinson University-Florham 50-22 in the second half en route to an 86-62 triumph over the Devils on Saturday night in the opening round of the NYU Tip-Off Tournament at Hunter College's Sportsplex.

Top Performers
Western New England's starting unit featured four double-figure scorers, led by junior guard Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.), who scored a team-high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor, including 4-of-6 from long range. Sikorski also recorded three assists and two rebounds in the triumph. Junior forward Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) finished with 19 points, six rebounds and two assists, while senior guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) scored 18 points to go with four assists and four boards. Senior guard Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) registered a double-double with 11 points, ten rebounds and two assists.

FDU-Florham received a game-high 21-point performance from junior guard Oliver Ortman (North Caldwell, N.J.), who shot 9-of-18 from the field and 3-of-8 from three-point range. Senior forward Kenneth LaRocca (Marlboro, N.J.) was the only other Devil in double figures, as he scored 11 points to go with six boards, three assists and one steal.

Game Review
FDU-Florham built a 17-9 lead over the first 6:13 of the contest, led by eight points from Ortman and seven from senior guard Andy Fleurantin (West Orange, N.J.).

The Golden Bears, who still trailed by six (24-18) midway through the half, closed the gap to two (29-27) after Reilly connected from beyond the arc with 5:48 on the clock. Western New England then pulled even on a Sikorski jumper a minute and a half later, but the Devils utilized a trio of late three-pointers, including a pair from Larocca, to take a four-point lead (40-36) into the break.

The Golden Bears took control of the contest with a 13-0 run to start the second half and never looked back. Tavitian got it started with a layup 34 seconds into the period, before Reilly scored six straight points to put Western New England ahead for good. Sikorski then took his turn fueling the offense with five straight points, culminating in a triple that gave the Golden Bears a 49-40 advantage at the 16:25 mark.

Leading by eight (59-51) five minutes later, Western New England put the game out of reach with a decisive 16-0 run that extended the margin to 24 (75-51) with 4:36 remaining in the game. Sikorski led the way with ten points during the key surge, while McGuire accounted for the other six. The Golden Bears led by as much as 27 (79-52) on their way to the 24-point win. 

Notes
• Western New England shot a season-best 55% (33-of-60) from the field and held a commanding 46-21 rebounding advantage.
• The Golden Bears made 64.5% (20-of-31) of their shots in the second half while limiting FDU-Florham to 27.6% shooting (8-of-29) over the final 20 minutes.

Up Next
Western New England (4-2) will take on host NYU in the championship game of the Tip-Off Tournament on Sunday at 2 p.m. FDU-Florham (2-3) faces Wells in the consolation contest at noon.