BEVERLY, Mass. – Western New England senior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) scored a game-high 34 points to lead the fifth-seeded Golden Bears past fourth-seeded Endicott, 70-65, on Tuesday night in the quarterfinal round of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament at MacDonald Gymnasium.
Pettway's night included a 14-for-21 showing from the field, 12 rebounds (all defensive), three assists, a block, and a steal. Behind Pettway's performance, Western New England will now make its first CCC Semifinals appearance since 2007-08.
Meanwhile, on the other end, Mathew Catizone (Woburn, Mass.) sparked the Gulls throughout the entire contest. The junior guard finished with a career-high 18 points (7-14 FG, 3-7 3PT, 1-1 FT) in 28 minutes off the bench.
His first basket at 13:27 of the opening stanza put Endicott within one point (11-10) – its smallest deficit the entire game – while a three-point play (14:01, WNE 44-35) and a three-pointer (11:39, WNE 44-40) in the second half ignited the Gulls when they needed it most.
However, despite Catizone's efforts, Pettway and company managed to hold off the Gulls' comeback bid even though Endicott brought the game within a three-point deficit on five different occasions over the final 5:44 of the contest.
Each time the Gulls cut their deficit to three points, it more or less seemed like Pettway was the one with the answer as he directly countered Endicott on three out of five of those situations for a total of six points. Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) and Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) answered the others with 51 seconds and 13 seconds remaining on the scoreboard, respectively.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Endicott is 15-8 in the all-time series.
- The Golden Bears improved to 4-9 on the road this season.
- John Homsey (Windham, N.H.) also played a crucial role for the Gulls in the second half as the senior forward notched two points, two rebounds, and a steal.
- Homsey's final rebound at 8:13 and his only layup at 8:06 pulled Endicott within five points (53-48) at the time.
- Endicott trailed by as many as 14 points twice in the first half before mounting its comeback attempt in the second.
Western New England will travel to first-seeded Nichols on Thursday, February 21 at 7 PM. The winner will advance to the CCC Championship. Endicott sees its 2018-19 season come to a close at 17-9 overall.
(Photo Credit - Joshua Muir '19)