Amherst, MA- The MCLA men's basketball team was held to 31% shooting as Western New England University cruised to a 78-60 win over the Trailblazers in the Ken Wright Invitational hosted by Amherst College. The Golden Bears improve to 1-1 on the early season while tonight marked the season debut fo the Trailblazers.
WNE will advance to face host Amherst in the title game tomorrow while MCLA challenges Sarah Lawrence in the consolation game at 1pm.
The Golden Bears placed three players in double figures led by Mike McGuire's 16 points. Mikey Pettway added 15 while Cole Eiber notched 13 in the win.
WNE got off to a flying start. The Golden Bears jumped out to a 10-0 lead and eventually were ahead 16-2 just four minutes into the game before MCLA inched their way back into the game. The Trailblazers would hold WNE without a point over the next five minutes and embarked on a 17-2 run of their own to take a brief 19-18 lead. Antoine Montgomery and Ki-Shawn Monroe led the spurt with six points each.
WNE would convert on their next possession and end the half on a 20-2 run to take a 38-21 lead at halftime. In the opening half, MCLA was an abysmal 0-15 shooting from three point land while they were 10-24 from inside the arc. The Trailblazers did force 13 turnovers to keep them within shouting distance.
MCLA closed within 12 points to open the second half, but WNE answered the run and led 57-37 midway thru the closing half. WNE led by as many as 26 points later in the half and were never seriously threatened to earn the win.
Mike Demartinis led MCLA with 19 points, 15 of which came after halftime. He was 8-12 from the floor and 3-5 from three point range. Monroe ended with 13 points and 5 rebounds while Montgomery ended with 11.
The Trailblazers attempted 34 three pointers making just six of them. They did force 25 turnovers in the loss, but allowed WNE to shoot 51% from the field. The Golden Bears owned a 50-34 edge off the glass.