Western New England Tops Dean 91-79 in Non-Conference Action

Freshman Alex Sikorski scored 16 points off the bench in Western New England's 91-79 win over Dean on Thursday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Freshman Alex Sikorski scored 16 points off the bench in Western New England's 91-79 win over Dean on Thursday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Recap by Greg Fitzpatrick

Pettway leads Golden Bears with 36 points, McGuire adds 20

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (February 1, 2018) – The Western New England University men's basketball team wrapped up its non-conference schedule with a 91-79 victory over Dean College on Thursday evening at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.

Top Performers
• Western New England was led by junior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.), who finished with 36 points and five assists, two shy of his career-high of 38 points. Pettway shot 10-of-18 from the field and was 14-of-17 from the free throw line.  
• Sophomore guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) added 20 points along with a career-high five assists and three steals.
• The freshmen duo of Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) combined for 25 points off the bench. Sikorski contributed 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-7 from three-point range, while Day chipped in with nine points and three assists.

• Sophomore guard Jordan Booker (Waterbury, Conn.) led the Bulldogs with 28 points, going 8-of-16 from the field.
Josh Croskey (Union, N.J.) recorded 11 points, six rebounds, and two blocks for Dean, while Dayvon Russell (Naugatuck, Conn.) had 10 points, six boards, and three assists.

Game Review
With Dean holding a 56-51 advantage 3:20 into the second half, Pettway scored five straight points for the Golden Bears to tie the contest. At the 14:01 mark of the half, the junior drained a three-pointer to put Western New England ahead 59-58.

With 11:08 remaining in regulation, the Golden Bears went on an 8-0 run with the help of consecutive three-pointers from Sikorski. At the 5:20 mark of the contest, Western New England established its largest lead of the game at 13 points after back to back triples from McGuire and Sikorski.

With just over three minutes to play, the Bulldogs were able to cut their deficit to six (82-76) after a layup from Croskey, followed by two made free throws from Booker. That's the closest Dean would get, however, as the Golden Bears made their free throws down the stretch and held on for the victory.

Down 12-7 at the 16:16 mark of the first half, McGuire drained a three to bring the Golden Bears within two points. Minutes later, after Malik Brown (Miami, Fla.) connected on a triple to put the Bulldogs up 17-12, McGuire would score five consecutive points to tie the game at 17.

Holding a 41-38 advantage with 2:36 remaining before halftime, the Golden Bears extended their lead on a layup from Pettway. The Bulldogs outscored Western New England 9-5 the rest of the way and pulled to within one (48-47) at the break. 

Notes
• The Golden Bears made 13 three-pointers on Thursday, marking the 10th time this season they've made 10 or more threes in a game. Western New England shot 43% from long range against the Bulldogs.
• Pettway has scored in double figures in all 20 games this season, including 11 20+ point performances and a trio of 30+ point efforts.
• Western New England scored 33 points off 21 Dean turnovers.
• Following their 91-point output, the Golden Bears have now scored 90+ points in seven games this season. Western New England only managed to score 90+ points twice during the 2016-17 campaign.

Up Next
Western New England (9-11) resumes CCC play on Saturday at Gordon, while Dean (11-9) returns home to face off with Mitchell College.