Tavitian, Pettway & McGuire carry WNE offense
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (November 16, 2018) — The Western New England University men's basketball team capitalized off a dominant first half to defeat Thomas (ME) College 81-67 Friday night and move on to the championship of the Herb Kenny Tip-Off Tournament at Wesleyan University.
The trio of senior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.), junior guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.), and sophomore forward Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) combined for 59 of the Golden Bears 81 points.
Tavitian led all scorers with 24 points, while Pettway finished with 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists. McGuire contributed 16 points and was 4-7 from beyond the arc.
The Terriers were led by junior guard Zach Mackinnon (Kennebunk, Maine) who finished with 16 points, and sophomore forward Tyler Nixon (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), who scored 11 points and corralled seven boards.
The Golden Bears opened up the game on an 11-0 run paced by Tavitian who scored an early seven points. Western New England would stretch its lead to as much as 27 in the first half. Tavitian finished the period with 20 points including 12 from long range.
Defensively, the Golden Bears held Thomas to just 18 points over the opening 20 minutes and the Terriers shot just 28% from the field. Western New England led 45-18 at the break.
The Terriers would come out aggressive in the second half behind the play of Mackinnon, who scored 14 points over the final 20 minutes of action. The Golden Bears answered with more offense from McGuire and Pettway who both scored eight in the second half.
At the 13:06 mark, junior guard Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) drilled a three to make the score 64-32, giving the Golden Bears their largest lead of the game.
The Terriers continued to fight back, but the Western New England lead proved to be too much to overcome as the Golden Bears posted a 14-point triumph.
• Western New England forced 25 Thomas turnovers.
• Tavitian set a career-high with four made three-pointers.
Western New England (2-1) will face Wesleyan (1-0) in the Herb Kenny Tip-Off Tournament championship game at 3 p.m. Saturday, while Thomas (1-3) plays Becker at 1 p.m.