Western New England Drops CCC Opener to Roger Williams, 82-76

Freshman forward Zach Tavitian scored a season-high 17 points in Western New England's 82-76 loss to Roger Williams on Wednesday night (Photo by Rachael Margossian).
Freshman forward Zach Tavitian scored a season-high 17 points in Western New England's 82-76 loss to Roger Williams on Wednesday night (Photo by Rachael Margossian).

McGuire (21 points) leads four Golden Bears in double figures 

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (November 29, 2017) – The Western New England University men's basketball team opened Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) play with an 82-76 loss to Roger Williams University on Wednesday evening at the Alumni Healthful Living Center. 

Top Performers
• Sophomore guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) led the way for the  Golden Bears, scoring 13 of his career-high 21 points in the second half. McGuire shot 7-of-17 from the field, including 4-of-10 from three-point range, while also connecting on 3-of-4 free throws.
• Freshman forward Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) made 7-of-11 field goals on his way to a season-high 17 points to go with six rebounds and two blocks.
• Junior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) added 16 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals for the Golden Bears.

• Junior guard Austin Coene (Tyngsborough, Mass.) paced the Hawks with a game-high 28 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 14-of-20 from the charity stripe, to go along with ten rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block.
• Sophomore guard Rich Pugliese (Middlebury, Conn.) chipped in with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from long range, while seniors Nick Marini (Loudonville, N.Y.) and Jaylen Jennings (Norwalk, Conn.) contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively. 

Game Review
• Roger Williams held a 22-18 lead at the game's first timeout with 9:20 remaining in the first half. The Hawks led by the same margin (27-23) after Coene completed a traditional three-point play at the 5:53 mark.
• Western New England cut its deficit to one (27-26) on a layup by Tavitian 48 seconds later, but Roger Williams closed out the half with a 14-6 run to open up a 41-32 advantage at the break. Coene scored eight of the Hawks' points during the run, with six coming at the free throw line.
• A Jennings three-pointer 2:19 into the second half pushed Roger Williams' lead into double figures (46-34) for the first time. The Golden Bears pulled to within eight on a couple of occasions, before getting as close as four (59-55) when McGuire knocked down a pair of free throws with 9:07 left in the contest.
• Coene scored four straight points as the visitors extended their advantage back to eight, and the Hawks kept the Golden Bears at bay with a couple of key three-pointers from Pugliese at 6:27 and 5:18.
• After Western New England made one final run to get to within four with 3:46 remaining, Roger Williams pulled away late to seal the win.

Notes
• The Golden Bears shot 39.3 percent (24-of-61) from the field, 26.7 percent (8-of-30) from three-point range, and 66.7 percent (20-of-30) from the free throw line.
• Western New England freshman guard Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) provided a spark off the bench, scoring nine of his ten points in the second half.
• The Hawks held a 37-34 rebounding edge.

Up Next
Both teams will be back in action on Saturday, as Western New England (1-4, 0-1 CCC) hosts Salve Regina and Roger Williams (6-0, 1-0 CCC) travels to the University of New England.