Gulls Shoot Past Golden Bears, 92-85

Junior Mikey Pettway recorded 23 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and seven assists in Tuesday's 92-85 loss to Endicott. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Junior Mikey Pettway recorded 23 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and seven assists in Tuesday's 92-85 loss to Endicott. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Pettway finishes with 23 points, 12 rebounds & seven assists

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 30, 2018) –
Endicott College used a strong second half offensive performance to pick up a 92-85 win over Western New England University on Tuesday evening in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's basketball action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center. 

Top Performers
• Western New England was led by junior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.), who finished three assists shy of a triple-double with 23 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and seven assists. Pettway shot 9-of-17 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
• Freshman guard EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) established a new season-high with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, as he made 3-of-7 three-pointers and both of his free throw attempts.
• Freshman forward Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) finished with 16 points, six boards, four assists, two blocks and two steals, while sophomore Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) and freshman Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) also scored in double-figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

• Sophomore guard Keith Brown (Pelham, N.H.) carried the Gulls offensively, as he poured in a game-high 43 points on 15-of-22 shooting from the field, including 7-of-11 from three-point distance to go with a 6-of-8 effort at the charity stripe. Brown also pulled down five rebounds and handed out three assists.
• Junior guard Joe Shehadi (Dorset, Vt.) was the only other Gull in double figures with ten points, four assists, three boards and three steals.

Game Review
Trailing by seven (56-49) after McGuire drained a three-pointer four minutes into the second half, Endicott regained the lead (57-56) with an 8-0 run that included six points from Brown. Western New England quickly pulled back ahead on a Pettway jumper at the 12:15 mark, and the Golden Bears didn't trail until Endicott junior Nick Thibeault (Gorham, Maine) connected from beyond the arc with 9:11 to play.

With the score tied at 70-70 later in the half, Western New England used a pair of strong defensive plays to gain the momentum. Pettway stole the ball from junior Vinny Clifford (Danvers, Mass.) near halfcourt before throwing down a dunk, and on Endicott's next possession, Tavitian blocked a Brown layup, leading to a fast break layup for Day on the other end. The Golden Bears held a 77-72 lead with 5:06 to play after McGuire made his third and final three-pointer.

Endicott answered with a three from Brown on the other end, however, and freshman Jordan Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) tied the score at 78 with a trey at the 4:13 mark, before Brown gave the Gulls the lead for good (81-78) with another triple with 3:43 on the clock.

Western New England stayed within striking distance and trailed by just two (87-85) after Pettway sank two free throws with 1:01 remaining, but sophomore Cole Eiber (Albertson, N.Y.) missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 41 seconds left and Endicott senior Joel Villa (Bronx, N.Y.) effectively sealed the contest as he hit a jumper as the shot clock expired with 11 seconds to play. The Gulls extended the final margin to seven with three late free throws.

The Golden Bears held a nine-point lead (27-18) 8:39 into the contest after Sikorski drilled three straight three-pointers. Western New England eventually stretched its advantage to ten (31-21) when Tavitian made a pair of free throws with 8:25 remaining in the first half, and the home team led 43-35 at the break.

Notes
• Endicott shot 66.7 percent from the field (22-of-33), including 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from three-point range in the second half, when the Gulls outscored the Golden Bears 57-42.
• Western New England's bench outscored the Endicott reserves 33-18, led by Day and Sikorski.
• The freshman trio of Day, Sikorski and Tavitian combined for 49 points. 

Up Next
Western New England (8-11, 5-8 CCC) will look to snap its three-game skid on Thursday, as the Golden Bears host Dean in non-conference action at 7 p.m. Endicott (14-6, 9-4 CCC) returns home to host Eastern Nazarene on Saturday.