Romich's Late Basket Lifts Men's Basketball to Conference-Opening Win

Romich's Late Basket Lifts Men's Basketball to Conference-Opening Win

BIDDEFORD, Maine – Senior Kyle Romich (Groton, Mass.) drained a 17-foot jumper with 3.8 seconds remaining to snap a 57-all tie as the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team defeated the University of New England, 59-57, in the Commonwealth Coast Conference opener for both squads.

With the win the Leopards snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 2-3 on the season while the Nor'Easters fall to 5-3.

Romich, who finished with a career-high 26 points, missed a chance to give the Leopards the lead with 32 seconds left, however senior Ian Therriault (Lewiston, Maine) gained possession of the rebound, which allowed the Black & Gold to reset and set Romich up for the game winner.

UNE had tied the game on a pair of CJ Autry (Standish, Maine) free throws with 53 seconds left. The Nor'Easters chance to tie the game at the buzzer went off mark.

Wentworth, which used a pair of 9-0 runs in the first half to build and maintain a double-digit lead, led by as many as 16 early in the second half before the Nor'Easters used a 14-2 run over a five-minute span to trim the deficit to four and trailed by three with 8:31 left, however could not get over the hump.

Romich, who scored seven of his team's last eight, made it 56-51 with 2:16 to go. Two freebies by Autry and one for Romich left Wentworth up four (57-53), until Autry found Matt Lettick (Orange, Conn.) for a straightaway jumper to close the gap to 57-55 with 55 seconds left. After a timeout, Autry stole the inbounds pass and was fouled in the process, setting up the opportunity to level the contest at the charity stripe.

Romich drained 5-of-8 from downtown in the contest, and collected eight rebounds. Sophomore Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) added 13 points and six boards. Therriault finished with a game-best nine caroms, helping the visitors to a 48-33 edge on the glass. Wentworth totaled 18 offensive rebounds -- the 10 in the 2nd period were converted into nine of the squad's 23 points in the frame.

The Nor'Easters were paced by 15 points and six rebounds from Autry, who tallied 12 points in the closing stanza with a 6-for-6 effort at the line. Lettick chipped in with 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Devin Thompson (Winthrop, Mass.) had seven points, five rebounds, and four steals, and Sam Thomas (Bedford, N.H.) registered seven points and three blocks. Drew Coveney (Londonderry, N.H.) dished out six assists.

Wentworth has its home opener on Saturday when the Leopards entertain Nichols at 3:00. UNE is slated to visit Western New England University at the same time.