BIDDEFORD, Maine — Roger Williams University wrapped up the opening period on a 21-4 run to establish a double-digit margin, and finished off a 79-69 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men’s basketball victory over the University of New England on Saturday at the Harold Alfond Forum.
The Hawks improve to 17-4 overall and 11-3 in league action with the decision, while the Nor’easters are set back to 6-15 on the year and 4-11 in the CCC.
Austin Coene (Tyngsborough, Mass.) led the way for RWU with 21 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Andrew Wasik (Gainesville, Fla.) notched 19 points and six boards, and Nick Marini (Loudonville, N.Y.) recorded 14 points. After balanced scoring guided the visitors during the initial stanza, Coene and Marini accounted for 15 and 10, respectively, over the course of the last 20 minutes.
Wasik and Coene combined for nine three-pointers as the Hawks went 14-of-31 (45%) from behind the arc and doubled-up the long-range output of hosts (7-for-28) on the afternoon.
UNE received 18 points from Gavin Dibble (Greenport, N.Y.), with another 12 registered by Ryan Matthews (Park Ridge, N.J.) — both players did all their work in the 2nd half. Jean-Luc Parker (Georgetown, Texas) went for all of his 11 points before intermission, and collected eight caroms. Drew Coveney (Londonderry, N.H.) had nine points and three steals to go with his game-best 11 rebounds, although the Nor’easters fell short on the glass by a 42-36 difference.
Following a 9-0 spurt that gave UNE a 22-17 advantage, Roger Williams countered with the deciding stretch to take a 38-26 lead at the break. Jaylen Jennings (Norwalk, Conn.) had all of his eight points to pace the run.
The Hawks increased the cushion as high as 16 (46-30), but the Nor’easters would not go away and narrowed the separation to 56-50 with 9:11 left when Matthews canned back-to-back triples.
After two free throws by Coene, Dibble hit a trey to slice the deficit to five (58-53). However, Coene drained one from deep on the next trip to keep UNE from inching any closer. Inside the final five minutes, the spread was no less than seven.