Birrell double-double lifts Salve Regina, 70-66
NEWPORT, R.I. - Graduate student Ryan Birrell (Scituate, R.I.) had a game-high 23 points and team-high 10 rebounds, all off the defensive glass, to lead Salve Regina University men's basketball over Western New England University, 70-66, in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action on Tuesday.
Golden Bear senior guard Andre Shaw (New York, N.Y.) had eight points, including one of his 3-pointers, in the opening seven minutes that keyed a 14-8 start for Western New England.
Salve Regina (12-7; 10-2 CCC) went on a 13-0 run over the next 4:27 and the Seahawks never trailed again. Isiah Pringle (Queens, N.Y.) had two layups and a jumper during the run while William Smiley (Saunderstown, R.I.) added a layup.
Shaw had his final 3-pointer with 44 seconds left before the break and forged the second-to-last tie of the game (31-31) before Jeff Bielefeld (Littleton, Mass.) finished the first-half scoring with a layup with 24 ticks left.
The Seahawks opened the second half with a 13-6 run to build their largest lead of the game (46-37) at the 15:25 mark. Birrell, Bielefeld, Pringle, and Scott St. Lawrence (Litchfield, N.H.) all scored during the opening four minutes of the second period.
A subsequent 10-3 run by Western New England pulled the Golden Bears within two (49-47) before Joshua Fuhrmeister (Bonn, Germany) hit a layup to start a 9-3 Seahawk spurt.
When Shaw tied the game at 64-all with 3:48 on the clock, St. Lawrence answered with a jumper just outside his normal range 20 seconds later. Birrell ended a near two-minute scoreless period with a layup and free throw following a Brendan Canova (Edina, Minn.) steal at the 1:36 mark.
Birrell finished with his season-best third double-double (23 points, 10 rebounds) while also contributing six assists, six steals, and a blocked shot. St. Lawrence had 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting while Pringle had 11 points and a season-high four assists.
Four Golden Bears scored in double-figures led by Shaw's 17 points. Damon Alston (New Britain, Conn.) had 16 points in a losing effort while Daniel Minto (West Hempstead, N.Y.) and Dennis Rinaldi (Harrison, N.Y.) also had double-doubles for Western New England (6-12; 3-9 CCC).
Salve Regina begins a three-game road trip with a tilt at Eastern Nazarene on Thursday; Western New England hosts Wentworth on the same night.