Men’s basketball cruises past Curry College 96-76 for sixth straight win

Hawks junior guard Jake Heaton drives to the rim against Curry College on Saturday, Feb. 10. The Hawks defeated the Colonels 96-76.

Andrew Wuebker, Sports Editor

The Roger Williams University men’s basketball team came away with their sixth straight victory on Saturday, Feb. 10, with a 96-76 dismantling of Curry College.

Five players scored in double-figures for RWU with guards Austin Coene and JJ Pfohl each going 9-of-11 from the floor for 38 points combined. Senior guard Nick Marini added 15 points and nine assists while senior forward Conor O’Brien added 13 points. Freshman guard Bryan Donovan came in with 13 points off the bench for the Hawks.

“From Saturday to Saturday it was a huge week,” said Hawks coach Michael Tully. “Beating Wentworth last Saturday was a really big win, played great. And then Wednesday on the road at Eastern Nazarene — who just beat Gordon from what I’m hearing — we put them away early in the second-half and then today for 30 minutes I thought we played really good and then the game got a little up and down… Sometimes it’s hard. We were up on these guys by 40 at their place and we let a lot back. We gotta move on and get ready for Monday’s practice cause next week we’re playing the No. 2 and No. 3 teams.”

The Hawks (17-6, 11-5 CCC) led this one from start to finish, not giving the one-win Colonels (1-22, 1-15 CCC) much of a chance.

By the end of the first-half, RWU led 56-30 at the break while shooting a red hot 67 percent from the floor. Curry looked lost on defense and couldn’t stop RWU from getting inside the paint as every Hawk bucket seemingly resulted from a close look at the rim.

The offense wasn’t much better for Curry in the first-half either. The last-ranked Colonels offense hit just 41 percent of their shots in the half and committed 11 turnovers that resulted in uncontested transition baskets for the Hawks.

In the second-half it was more of the same for both teams. RWU built a lead as large as 32 on a layup by Pfohl that gave the Hawks a 70-38 lead with 14:32 left in the frame.

Most of the Hawks’ starters were pulled midway through the second-half as a winning outcome was out of reach for Curry. Juniors Dalton Prendergast and Ben Stone, and freshmen Jeff Stockmal, Jonah St. Clair and Chris Chapel saw rare playing time for RWU in the last few minutes.

With the end of the Hawks’ bench in, Curry outscored RWU 38-26 in the last 14 and a half minutes, bringing the score to a slightly more respectable 96-76 outcome, but another victory for the Hawks nonetheless.

The Hawks’ final two games of the year vs. Gordon College and Endicott College could arguably be their toughest two as well.

Up first will be Gordon on the road on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The Fighting Scots defeated the Hawks in a close battle 87-83 in Bristol on Jan. 16.

“They’re very good. They have some really good scorers, great shooters, good size,” Tully said. “They’re a good team, but I like the way we’re playing.”

Tully said that his players need to focus on the fundamentals in all phases during practice next week, especially defense if they’re to come away with two wins to close out the year.

“Just fundamentals and being sharper at everything that we do, especially defensively,” he said. “That’s really what it comes down to.”


Hawks coach Michael Tully confirmed postgame that Hawks senior forward Jaylen Jennings has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game at Gordon as he recovers from a right ankle injury he suffered on Jan. 27 against University of New England. He was spotted at Saturday’s game without a walking boot however as he sat on the team bench. Tully stated Jennings will do “some practice activity” on Monday with the hopes he’ll be a full participant in Wednesday’s practice. Depending on his progress Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, he could play in the regular season finale at home vs. Endicott.