Milton, Mass. - The Curry College men's basketball team fell to Western New England (WNE) by a score of 101-74 Saturday afternoon at home in the Katz Gymnasium. Curry drops to 1-15 on the year with an 0-7 record in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) games, while the Golden Bears improve to 5-11 overall with a 2-6 CCC mark. The hosts kept the game interesting through the first 20 minutes of play, but a strong second half from WNE put the game away.
WNE was able to get out to an early lead, jumping out to an early 14-4 advantage, thanks to 2-7 shooting from Curry over the first 5:07 of action. Baskets by juniors Jared Thorpe-Johnson (Dorchester, Mass.) and Kieran Carroll (Greenwich, Conn.) on four straight Curry possessions put the hosts into a groove, but a layup by Kenny Flynn (Dudley, Mass.) returned WNE's lead to ten with 10:17 remaining in the half. Curry cut the lead in half after a three-pointer from Alex Stein (Mount Olive, N.J.) found its mark to move the score to 30-25, before a pair of triples from Spencer Feng (Keene, N.H.) and Louis Stein (Mount Olive, N.J.) just over a minute later gave the hosts their first lead of the day at 33-32. The lead wouldn't last long, however, as a three from Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) put the Golden Bears back in front and sparked a 15-6 WNE run which would take the teams into the intermission with the visitors holding an eight-point edge.
Curry stumbled out of the gate, as a turnover followed by a pair of missed shots left the hosts looking up at a 13 point deficit, just 1:27 into the second. The Golden Bears would not stop there though, as a Sikorski layup set them off on a 26-6 run to break the game open and put WNE up 78-50. With the Colonels already scrambling, the visitors were also able to induce during this run the fifth personal fouls of Dwayne Boothe (Jamaica, N.Y.), who followed out with 12:35 left to play, and Carroll, who got whistled at 11:25 to disqualify him from the remainder of the contest. With Curry's big men missing from underneath, WNE point guard Antonio Brancato (Fairfield, Conn.) took advantage and drove to the basket on two straight possessions to bring the score to 82-55. After Thorpe-Johnson picked up his own fourth foul of the day, the two teams would set off a scoring frenzy, during which they would combine to score 28 points in just over four minutes. Near the end of the spree, WNE widened their lead to 32, the largest of the day, before a layup from Jon Lyons (Franklin, Tenn.) broke triple-digits and put the score at 100-69. The Colonels went on the shoot just 2 for 6 over the final minute and a half of regulation but dropped the decision by a final score of 101-74 as time expired.
Though the Colonels boasted three shooters with double-digit points, the Golden Bears answered back with five of their own, led by Brancato, who posted a game-high 25 points. WNE's other high-scorers were Sikorski (23), Flyyn (14), Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) (15), and Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) (11). WNE's defensive unit was led by the 12 rebounds of Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.), while three players posted four helpers apiece, Brancato, McGuire, and Nick DeGennaro (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.). Sikorski also registered 11 boards to collect the only double-double of the contest. The Golden Bears' accuracy led to a 52.1% shooting clip on the day, including going 20-36 in the second half to put up 54 points in the frame.
Curry's double-digit scorers were Thorpe-Johnson (21) and the Stein brothers, as Alex posted 10 and Louis scored 12. Thorpe-Johnson also posted a team-high eight rebounds, while RJ Hadfield (Warwick, R.I.) led the squad with a pair of steals.
Curry will play next on Wednesday, January 16 at 7:30 p.m., at home against CCC opponent Wentworth. WNE picks up again on Monday, January 14 at 7:00 p.m. with a home game against non-conference foe Suffolk. The Colonels will again face the Golden Bears early next month in Springfield, Mass. on Saturday, February 2 at 3:00 p.m. for WNE's home half of the season series.