Western New England unable to complete comeback after pulling to within three late in second half
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (December 6, 2016) – Sophomore guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) scored a career-high 36 points, but Western New England University was unable to complete its second half comeback in a 94-88 setback to Nichols College this evening in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's basketball action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
Western New England, which trailed by 14 late in the second half, rallied to pull within three points with three and a half minutes remaining. The Golden Bears had opportunities to tie the contest on two separate possessions after that point, but Nichols was able to hold on for the win.
• Pettway made 15-of-27 field goal attempts, 2-of-5 three-pointers and 4-of-6 free throws on his way to a career-high 36 points. The sophomore, who scored 26 of those points in the second half, also finished with eight rebounds and seven assists.
• Senior forward Daniel Silva (Seekonk, Mass.) recorded 11 points, six boards and three assists, while graduate guard Luis Agrait (South Hadley, Mass.) added 13 points.
• Freshman guard Mike McCourt (Lincoln, R.I.) rounded out Western New England's four double-figure scorers with 11 points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench.
• Freshman guard DeAnte Bruton (New London, Conn.) led the Bison with a game-high 35 points on 13-of-24 shooting from the field, including 5-of-11 from beyond the arc, while sinking 4-of-6 free throw attempts.
• Sophomore guard Marcos Echevarria (Lynn, Mass.) finished with 25 points, six boards and five assists.
• Western New England held its largest lead of the night (19-14) following a three-pointer by Agrait just under five minutes into the contest. Bruton tied the score at 26 with a triple midway through the half, and Echevarria gave the Bison the lead for good (36-34) with three free throws at the 6:14 mark.
• With Nichols leading by three (40-37) two minutes later, senior Nate Tardy (Moodus, Conn.) scored four straight points and Echevarria followed with a three-pointer as the Bison extended their advantage to ten with 3:02 left in the half.
• A jumper by Pettway with nine seconds on the clock snapped a 7-0 Nichols run and cut Western New England's deficit to 12 (54-42) heading into the break.
• The Golden Bears were able to pull within nine (64-55) on a Pettway three-pointer with 12:23 remaining, but Nichols got nine points out of its next three possessions and pushed its lead to 15 (73-58) as Echevarria connected from long range at the 11:08 mark.
• Still trailing by 14 (85-71) with just over six minutes left in the game, Western New England put together a 13-2 run over the next two and a half minutes to cut its deficit to three (87-84). Pettway bookended the run with a pair of layups, while McGuire contributed four points and freshman forward Nana Appiah (Patterson, Calif.) completed a traditional three-point play.
• The Golden Bears would get no closer, however, as they came up empty on a couple of key possessions down the stretch and Nichols held on for the win.
• Western New England shot better than Nichols overall (47.2% to 44.9%) and from three-point range (44% to 28.9%).
• The Golden Bears held a 40-38 rebounding edge with the help of a balanced effort on the glass. Pettway led Western New England with eight boards, while Appiah and McCourt had seven each and Silva added six.
• In four career contests against the Bison, Pettway is averaging 24.5 points per game. His previous career-high of 30 points came in the Golden Bears' 95-89 loss to Nichols last February.
Both teams will be back in action on Thursday, as Western New England (1-6, 0-3 CCC) travels to Connecticut College and Nichols (5-2, 3-0 CCC) heads to Brookline to take on Newbury.