BRISTOL, R.I. – The Roger Williams University staved off a four-point play to send the game into overtime, coming away with a 73-72 win Tuesday evening over Western New England College to improve to 2-0 in The Commonwealth Coast Conference.
Trailing 58-59 with 1:25 to play, the Golden Bears had two opportunities to potentially take the lead, but were unable to capitalize until the final possession. With 29 seconds to play, Chris Devine (Wilbraham, Mass.) drove into the lane but was called for steps on a spinning move towards the basket. WNEC fouled on the ensuing possession, where Taylor Petruccelli (Stratford, Conn.) made 1-of-2 on the double bonus to make it a 60-58 game.
On the next possession for WNEC, Devine was able to get in the paint again, this time putting up a lefty layup that just rimmed out. Petruccelli grabbed the board for RWU before Corey Fava (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) was sent to the line.
After knocking down both free throws, the Hawks led 62-58 with six seconds to play and appeared to be headed for the win. Yet WNEC pushed the ball up, where Andre Shaw (New York, N.Y.) banked in a three-pointer from the right side while being fouled to send him to the line for the game-tying free throw. Shaw put in the free throw to send the game to overtime.
The overtime period was a back-and-forth affair, with three ties and four lead changes. Fava had a hand in three key plays in the session, scoring a game-tying jumper, followed by milking the shot clock down to the last second and drawing fouls on three consecutive Hawk possessions. His six points over that stretch turned a 67-67 tie with 2:50 to play into a 71-69 RWU lead with 1:02 left.
The Hawks maintained the lead throughout the rest of the game to hold on for the win, though the final WNEC possession was nearly déjà vu. Shaw sank a three with one second left to make it a 73-72 game in favor of RWU, but could not draw a foul for another four-point play as RWU escaped with the win.
Pat Flanagan (Somerville, Mass.) led the Hawks with 17 points to go along with six rebounds. Fava finished with 16 points, five rebounds, and five assists, while Petruccelli added 13 points and seven boards.
Brad Thomka (Springfield, Mass.) finished with a double-double, scoring a game-high 23 points with ten rebounds. Devine went for ten points, 11 boards, and six assists, while Shawk and Dennis Rinaldi (Harrison, N.Y.) score 18 and 15 points off the bench, respectively.
Roger Williams (9-4, 2-0 TCCC) travels to Wentworth Institute of Technology Saturday at 3:00 p.m., while Western New England College (0-12, 0-2 TCCC) searches for its first win of the year Saturday against Endicott.