Western New England Overcomes Second Half Deficit Before Falling to Gordon, 84-77

Freshman EJ Day scored a season-high 28 points in Western New England's 84-77 loss at Gordon on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Freshman EJ Day scored a season-high 28 points in Western New England's 84-77 loss at Gordon on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Day scores 17 of season-high 28 points in second half

WENHAM, Mass. (February 3, 2018) –
The Western New England University men's basketball team erased a 16-point second half deficit before eventually falling to Gordon College, 84-77, on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Bennett Center. 

Top Performers
• Freshman guard EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) made the most of his 30 minutes off the bench, scoring a season-high 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, and 8-of-9 from the free throw line. Day also recorded two steals and one rebound in the contest.
• Sophomore Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) led Western New England's starting unit with 15 points and six boards, while junior Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) and freshman Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) also scored in double figures with 12 and ten points, respectively.

• Sophomore guard Eric Demers (Acushnet, Mass.) powered the Fighting Scots with a game-high 41 points on 14-of-27 shooting, including 6-of-12 from three-point range to go with a 7-of-8 effort at the charity stripe.
• Junior forward Garrisson Duvivier (Brockton, Mass.) posted a double-double with 16 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block.  

Game Review
Trailing 48-38 at halftime, Western New England faced its largest deficit of the afternoon after Demers sank a pair of free throws to give the Fighting Scots a 60-44 advantage at the 16:44 mark of the second half.

Day went 2-for-2 at the free throw line 13 seconds later, in the process starting an 18-2 run over the next six minutes that saw the Golden Bears pull even at 62-62. Day scored eight points during the run, while Tavitian capped the rally with a three-pointer at the 10:35 mark.

Day and Demers went back and forth in the late stages of the contest, as Day drained a deep trey to knot the score at 71-71 with 4:30 remaining, before putting the Golden Bears ahead 74-73 two minutes later when he completed a three-point play.

Demers answered with a triple on the other end, however, giving the Fighting Scots the lead for good with 2:25 to play. Senior guard Jaren Yang (San Francisco, Calif.) extended it to a four-point game (78-74) when he made two free throws with 1:05 on the clock, and the Fighting Scots sealed the win at the charity stripe down the stretch.

Gordon claimed a ten-point lead (23-13) after junior guard Jake Haar (Huntington Beach, Calif.) hit a three-pointer seven minutes into the contest. Western New England closed the gap to three (31-28) when Day made a pair of free throws at the 6:07 mark, but the Fighting Scots were able to push their lead back to ten at the break.

Notes
• Day registered a new career-high for the second time this week after scoring 21 points in Tuesday's loss to Endicott.
• The Fighting Scots outrebounded the Golden Bears 40-25.
• Western New England scored 24 points off 20 Gordon turnovers. The Golden Bears turned the ball over just ten times, marking the sixth time this season they have had ten or fewer turnovers. 

Up Next
Western New England (9-12, 5-9 CCC) and Gordon (14-7, 10-4 CCC) will both be back in action on Wednesday, as the Golden Bears travel to Milton, Mass. to take on Curry College and the Fighting Scots make the short trip to Beverly to face Endicott College.