WESTFIELD, Mass. – Sophomore guard Steven Collins (Lynn, Mass./Lynn English) scored 18 points and Jamel Hamans (Meriden, Conn./Maloney) added 17 as Pine Manor College used balanced scoring and pressure defense to top Westfield State, 79-72 in a non-conference basketball game at the Woodward Center on Sunday.
Westfield wraps up the fall semester non-conference portion of the schedule with a 5-6 overall record, while Pine Manor improves to 5-5 with the win.
The two teams both started slow, with just a single made free throw on the board for both teams through nearly the first four minutes of the game.
The Gators edged away late in the first half, as they led 22-20 with 6:19 left in the half, then mounted a quick 9-0 run, started by a breakaway dunk from Joshua Gause (Poughleepsie, N.Y.), and fueled by a pair of Owls turnovers. Hamans' three pointer with 4:22 left in the half gave Pine Manor a 31-20 lead.
The lead got to as many as 12 points before Westfield guard Isaiah Headley (Springfield, Mass./Westfield) canned a pair of free throws late in the half to cut the halftime deficit to 10 points at 40-30.
The Gators extended the lead in the second half to as many as 17 points on several occasions, the last at 63-46 after a Jerel Francis layup with 7:57 left in regulation.
Westfield chipped away at the lead through a foul-plagued second half for both clubs, as five Owls' free throws and a Marcus Collins (Cambridge, Mass./Rindge and Latin) layup trimmed the lead to 10.
The Owls got the lead all the way down to four points, 75-71 after a Tray Rumley (Meriden, Conn./ Maloney) three pointer with 1:05 left in regulation, but Collins hit a pair of free throws on the next possession and Westfield would get no closer.
Rumley and Marcus Collins each finished with 13 points for Westfield. Collins added 16 rebounds. Peter Mafo (Lynn, Mass./Lynn Classical) and Ty Sands (Waterbury, Conn./Kennedy) each added 11 for Westfield, which committed 30 turnovers in the game.
Gause added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Gators. Steven Collins added six assists and six steals to go with his game-high 18 points.
The two teams combined for 65 fouls in the game, with seven players fouling out, and five technical fouls issued. Westfield finished 25-36 at the foul line, while Pine Manor sank 21 of 36 from the stripe.