Recap by Greg Fitzpatrick
Pettway scores game-high 31 points & reaches 1,000-point milestone
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 18, 2018) – The Western New England University men's basketball team was able to build a 25-point lead in the second half on its way to a comfortable 101-83 victory over Gordon College on Thursday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.
• Junior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) led the way for the Golden Bears with a game-high 31 points to go along with six assists and four rebounds. At the 17:08 mark of the second half, Pettway became the 23rd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point milestone when he drained a pair of free throws.
• Freshman guard E.J. Day (Norwalk, Conn.) added 15 points and classmate Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) chipped in with 14 points, going 4-of-5 from three-point range. To round out the double-digit scoring, sophomores Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) and Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), and freshman Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) all scored 12 points.
• The Fighting Scots received a monster performance from junior forward Garrisson Duvivier (Brockton, Mass.), who had a double-double of 26 points and 17 rebounds to go with two blocks.
• Sophomore guard Eric Demers (Acushnet, Mass.) finished with a team-high 27 points for Gordon, going 6-10 from three-point range.
With Western New England leading by as much as 25 points in the second half, the Fighting Scots were able to fight their way back and make it a 12-point game with under three minutes left to play. After Pettway made a layup in transition to make the score 95-79, Gordon answered right back with a three-pointer from senior Jaren Yang (San Francisco, Calif.) forcing a Golden Bear timeout with 1:26 left. Pettway finished off a three-point play to make it 98-82 and the Golden Bears went on to register an 18-point triumph.
As the Golden Bears held an 11-point lead to begin the second half, Gordon started the final 20 minutes by going on a 16-10 run that brought them within five points of the lead. Western New England then proceeded to go on a 10-0 run in order to build a 65-50 advantage with 15:11 remaining in the contest. Pettway and Reilly were responsible for eight of those 10 points. Just minutes later, the Golden Bears then went on a 14-0 run to establish an 81-57 cushion at the 8:48 mark of the second half.
The Golden Bears were able to build a 30-14 advantage with 7:56 left in the first half. During that stretch, Western New England caught fire from beyond the arc, nailing seven three-pointers and ended up 9-of-18 from the three-point range for the half.
The Fighting Scots cut the lead to single digits when Yang hit a three of his own to make it 39-30 Golden Bears with 2:37 left in the half. On the next possession, Day drilled a triple to bring the Golden Bears lead back to double digits at 12 points. Western New England hung onto the double-digit lead with a 45-34 advantage going into the break.
• The Golden Bears 14 three-pointers on Thursday night marks the seventh time they have drilled 10 or more threes in a game this season.
• In back to back games, Western New England has now matched their season-low with six turnovers while scoring 18 points off Gordon's 15 turnovers.
• For the first time this season, the Golden Bears had six players score in double figures. Western New England had five players score in double figures earlier this season in a 90-76 win against Connecticut College on December 7.
Western New England (7-8, 4-5 CCC) continues its homestand when the Golden Bears host Eastern Nazarene at 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 20 at the AHLC. Gordon (10-6, 6-3 CCC) will travel to Milton, Mass. on Saturday to take on Curry College at 3 p.m.