BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Sophomore forward Rayshon Ward (Plymouth, Mass.) scored a career-high 25 points to lead the Bridgewater State University men's basketball team to a convincing 101-67 victory over visiting Newbury College on Saturday afternoon at the Tinsley Center.
The Bears even their record at 6-6 with the win, while the Nighthawks fall to 1-7.
Ward connected on 8 of 10 field goal attempts and went 8-for-9 from the free throw line. He also added eight rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Senior forward Joseph Carty (Natick, Mass.) posted his sixth double-double of the season for the Bears as he finished with 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting to go along with a game-high 15 rebounds, while sophomore guard Ryan Carney (Easton, Mass.) contributed 19 points, six boards and six assists.
Freshman guard Miguel Rivera (Waterbury, Conn.) paced visiting Newbury with a team-best 18 points, while senior guard Ato Botsio (Canton, Mass.) notched 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in 28 minutes off the bench.
The Bears jumped out to a 16-4 advantage five minutes into the game, but watched that lead evaporate as the Nighthawks countered with a 9-0 run to make it a three-point game (16-13) with 13:12 remaining in the opening stanza.
Bridgewater, however, would provide the answer as the Bears outscored the Nighthawks, 26-8, over the next 9 ½ minutes to take a commanding 42-21 lead. The hosts would ultimately hold a 47-32 edge at the break.
Carty scored 11 points over the first 20 minutes while Ward checked in with ten. The Bears shot 56% (19-34) in the first half, and went 8-for-13 (62%) at the free throw line.
Botsio paced Newbury in the opening session with ten points in 11 minutes off the bench. The Nighthawks connected on just 32% (13-41) of their field goal attempts in the period.
Bridgewater put the game well out of a reach with a 21-5 run during a five-minute stretch of the second half as the Bears opened up a 30-point lead (88-58) with 8:43 left to play. An 8-0 run on baskets by sophomore guard Thomas Mooney (Sutton, Mass.), freshman guard Michael Vrabel (Denver, Mass.), freshman center Nick Crocker (East Falmouth, Mass.) and freshman forward Cole Stairs (Boylston, Mass.) in the closing minutes of the contest gave the hosts their biggest lead of the game at 35 points (101-66).
Thirteen players scored for the Bears who were playing without starting point guard Rocky DeAndrade (Mansfield, Mass.). Bridgewater shot 56% (40-71) for the game and went 18-for-26 (69%) at the charity stripe. BSU also recorded 25 assists on the 40 made field goals and reached triple digits on the scoreboard for the first time this season.
The Nighthawks struggled with their shooting all afternoon long. Newbury made just 25 of 75 (33%) field goals attempts and finished 6-for-24 (25%) from behind the arc and 11-for-21 (52%) at the line. Senior guard Jeduan Langston (Roxbury, Mass.) added 12 points and nine rebounds for the visitors, while freshman guard Keith Hollman (Cambridge, Mass.) notched 11 points and freshman forward Tim Deng (Portland, Maine) registered ten points and six boards.
In upcoming action, the Bears entertain the Beacons of UMass Boston on Monday night at 7:30. The Nighthawks open New England Collegiate Athletic Conference (NECC) on Tuesday night when they travel to Dean College for a seven o'clock game with the Bulldogs.