Western New England Falls to No. 22 Nichols in CCC Quarterfinals, 100-68

Photo by Chris Marion
Photo by Chris Marion

Day scores team-high 15 points in first career start

DUDLEY, Mass. (February 20, 2018) –
Eighth-seeded Western New England University was eliminated from the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men's Basketball Tournament with an 100-68 loss to top-seeded and No. 22 ranked Nichols College on Tuesday night at the Nichols Athletic Center. 

Nichols (23-3) advances to Thursday's semifinal round to take on No. 4 seed Roger Williams. Western New England's season comes to a close at 11-15.

Top Performers
• Making his first collegiate start, freshman guard EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) led the Golden Bears with a team-high 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, including 3-for-6 from three-point range. Day made both of his free throw attempts and also recorded two rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block.
• CCC Rookie of the Year Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) finished with ten points, six boards and one assist, while freshman guard Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) chipped in with 12 points, four rebounds, three steals and one assist off the bench.

• Nichols junior guard Marcos Echevarria (Lynn, Mass.) was among five Bison to score in double-figures with a game-high 21 points to go with six assists, two steals and one rebound.
• Senior guard Daequon Antoine (Fort Mill, S.C.) added 17 points, eight rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block, while sophomore DeAnte Bruton (New London, Conn.) totaled 15 points, seven assists, five boards and two steals.

Game Review
Western New England held an early 10-8 lead as Tavitian scored five points over the first 4:27 of the contest.

Nichols pulled back ahead a minute and a half later and established a 21-15 advantage midway through the half on a three-pointer by Echevarria.

Sikorski scored back-to-back baskets as the Golden Bears claimed a 24-23 edge with 7:59 on the clock, but Nichols responded with a 17-0 run that included eight points from Antoine.

Trailing 40-24 at the conclusion of the Bison's offensive surge, Western New England answered with a 10-0 run of its own to get the Golden Bears back to within six (40-34) with 34 seconds remaining in the half.

Echevarria completed two separate three-point plays over the final 29 seconds of the half, however, as Nichols led 46-34 at the break.

The Bison picked up right where they left off with a 10-0 run to start the second half as Western New England's deficit grew to 22 (56-34) at the 17:17 mark.

The Golden Bears were never able to get back into the game after that point, as Nichols pulled away down stretch.

• Western New England shot 35.3 percent (24-of-68) from the field, while Nichols connected at a 51.3 percent (39-of-76) clip.
• The Bison outrebounded the Golden Bears 54-33 and scored 44 points in the paint.
• Day has scored in double figures in three straight games and six of the last seven overall.