Tavitian turns in first career 20-point game on 7-of-9 shooting
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (December 2, 2017) – Salve Regina University surged past Western New England University in the second half to earn an 82-75 victory on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's basketball action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
• Freshman forward Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) established a new season-high for the second straight game with a game-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 from the free throw line.
• Sophomore guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) added 19 points and four steals, while sophomore forward Mayo Aina (Providence, R.I.) chipped in with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting in his season debut.
• Salve Regina senior guard Rodney Morton (Malden, Mass.) led the Seahawks with a team-high 19 points to go with five rebounds and three assists.
• Junior guard Isaiah Bowman (Roxbury, Mass.) produced 12 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field, including 2-of-3 from three-point distance, and 4-of-6 from the charity stripe.
• Tavitian scored eight of Western New England's first ten points as the Golden Bears trailed 11-10 six and a half minutes into the contest. Aina recorded seven straight points midway through the half, before freshman guard Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) gave Western New England its first lead (18-17) when he made 1-of-2 free throws with 10:20 on the clock.
• After a Morton layup put the visitors back in front, McGuire scored the game's next eight points, including a pair of three-pointers, as the Golden Bears opened up a 26-19 advantage with just under seven minutes remaining.
• A Tavitian layup at the 6:14 mark sparked a 10-2 run that saw Western New England claim its largest lead of the half (36-23).
• Salve Regina scored the final seven points of the half, capped by a Morton layup at the buzzer, to close the gap to six (36-30) at the break.
• The Seahawks continued to chip away at their deficit early in the second half, as they pulled to within one (37-36) after Bowman knocked down a pair of free throws at the 16:51 mark. Salve Regina claimed its first lead of the half (41-39) on a Stephen Natola (Exeter, N.H.) triple a minute and a half later, and the visitors continued to add to their advantage from there.
• A pair of Morton free throws with just under nine minutes remaining made it a seven-point game (57-50), and a Bowman trey at the 7:32 mark gave Salve Regina its largest lead of the afternoon (63-50).
• The Golden Bears got to within five (69-64) when McGuire sank two free throws with 2:42 remaining, before eventually cutting their deficit to four (78-74) on a straightaway three-pointer by Tavitian in the final minute. Western New England was unable to complete the comeback, however, as the Seahawks held on for the win.
• Salve Regina shot 65 percent (13-of-20) from the field in the second half and 49.1 percent (26-of-53) overall. Western New England connected at a 45.6 percent (26-of-57) clip.
• The Seahawks outrebounded the Golden Bears 37-27. Sikorski and freshman guard EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) led Western New England with five boards each.
Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday night, as Western New England (1-5, 0-2 CCC) travels to Eastern Nazarene and Salve Regina (4-2, 2-0 CCC) plays at Wentworth.