SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Western New England University men's basketball team established a 15-point halftime lead and pulled away in the second half to earn a 98-64 victory over Curry College on Thursday evening in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
• Junior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) was among five Golden Bears in double figures with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go with four rebounds, four assists and one steal in 19 minutes of action.
• Freshman forward Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) finished with 11 points and six rebounds, while sophomore guard Nick DeGenarro (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) provided a spark off the bench with a team and career-high 13 points, five assists, three steals and one rebound.
• Senior center John Coleman (Warwick, R.I.) paced the Colonels with game-highs in both points (15) and rebounds (11).
Western New England, which closed out the first half on a 20-7 run to claim a 43-28 advantage at the break, carried its momentum into the second half. Sophomore guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) got to the rim for a layup on the Golden Bears' first possession, before classmate Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) knocked down a three-pointer to push Western New England's lead to 20 (48-28) a minute into the half.
Tavitian completed a three-point play to make it 60-33 at the 15:05 mark, and freshman Alex Chenaille (San Antonio, Tex.) connected from beyond the arc to extend the advantage to 37 (79-42) with 10:22 to play. The Golden Bears eventually led by as much as 44 (96-52) en route to their third conference victory of the season.
With Curry trailing 5-2 early in the first half, Coleman scored six straight points for the Colonels, forcing a Western New England timeout with the visitors holding an 8-5 edge at the 13:22 mark. Consecutive jumpers by DeGennaro put the Golden Bears back in front (17-15) with 9:14 remaining in the half, and McGuire drained a trey three minutes later to give Western New England the lead (23-20) for good. The home team took control of the contest from there, as a dunk by freshman guard Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) with 5:07 on the clock sparked a 20-7 run to close out the half. Pettway carried the load offensively with 12 points during the run, while DeGennarro added six points from long range.
• Western New England shot a season-high 53.6 percent (37-of-69) from the field, including 43.3 percent (13-of-30) from long range.
• The Golden Bears scored 29 points off 27 Curry turnovers.
• Senior guard Anthony Service (Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.) and sophomore guard Nate Ramos (Auburn, Mass.) both scored their first collegiate points late in regulation.
• The Golden Bears have scored 90+ points in four of their last five contests.
Western New England (6-6, 3-3 CCC) travels to the University of New England on Saturday, while Curry (1-13, 0-7 CCC) heads to Quincy, Mass. to take on Eastern Nazarene for a 3:00 p.m. tip.
(Game Recap Courtesy of Western New England University Sports Information)