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Utica Holds Off Owls in Rick Martin Tournament Opener, 73-66

Vawn Lord soars to the hoop to score two of his 25 points against Utica.
Vawn Lord soars to the hoop to score two of his 25 points against Utica.

WESTFIELD, Mass.  – Utica's Hunter Remley (Cranford, NJ) scored 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting from three point range to lead the Pioneers to a 73-66 win over host Westfield State in the opening game of the Rick Martin/Hampton Inn tournament at the Woodward Center on Friday evening.

With the win, Utica moves to 1-0 on the season and will play winner of RPI and Rutgers-Newark in tomorrow's championship game at 3:00 p.m. The loser of that game will face Westfield (0-2) in the consolation final at 1:00 p.m.

Utica jumped out to a 42-28 halftime lead behind 16 from Remley, who knocked down four three's in the opening stanza.

Westfield cut into that lead with a furious second half rally. Trailing 54-41 with 13 minutes to play, the Owls trimmed the lead all the way down to one point, 56-55 with a 14-2 run that was capped by back-to-back acrobatic scoring drives from Westfield's Vawn Lord (West Springfield, Mass.).

That was as close as the Owls could get.  After a time out, the Pioneers made four free throws on their next two possession to open the lead back up.  Westfield trimmed it back to one, at 62-61 on Joseph Meade's (Westfield, Mass.) lay in with 3:51 to play.

Thomas Morreale's (Whitesboro, NY)  three-pointer boosted the Utica College lead back to four, and from that point the pioneers made 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.

Morrealle and Brett Talbert (Deer Park, NY) each finished with 12 points, Kimedrick Murphy (Hudson, NY) grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked five shots for Utica.

Westfield was led by 25 points and seven rebounds from Lord.   Moody Bey (Springfield, Mass./Monson) was the only other Owl in double figures with 10 points.

RUTGERS-NEWARK 61, RPI 58

WESTFIELD, Mass. – Rutgers-Newark got a pair of clutch three pointers from Mike Vick and Quincy Rutherford late in the second half to take their first lead of the game, as the Scarlet Raiders topped RPI, 61-58 in the first round of the Rick Martin/Hampton Inn Tournament at Westfield State University's Woodward Center.

With the win, Rutgers advances to tomorrow's 3:00 p.m. championship game against Utica College, a 73-66 winner over Westfield earlier today.    RPI will face host Westfield at 1:00 p.m. in the consolation final.

Rutgers trailed the Engineers 29-16 at the half, but the Raiders caught fire in the second half, shooting 59 percent from the floor.

Rutherford's three-pointer with 3:18 gave the Raiders the lead 55-54, for the first time in the half.

Rutherford finished with 20 points to lead Rutgers-Newark.  Chase Barneys added 16 and Vick 12.

RPI was led by 21 points from Patrick Mahoney, and got 11 from Mason Memmelar.