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Men's Basketball Holds Off Gordon to Advance to CCC Semifinals

Men's Basketball Holds Off Gordon to Advance to CCC Semifinals

WENHAM, Mass. – Junior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) scored a team-high 14 points to lead five players in double figures as the fifth-seeded Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team held on to defeat fourth-seeded Gordon, 82-75, in a Commonwealth Coast Conference quarterfinal at the Bennett Center.

With the win the Leopards improve to 14-12 and advance, for the seventh time in the last eight seasons, to the semifinal round where the Black & Gold will square off against top-seeded Nichols on Thursday night in Dudley, Mass. The Fighting Scots conclude their season with a 15-11 record. Wentworth has now won seven of the last eight meetings between the two schools, including the last two playoff appearances.

The teams opened the game going back and forth before Gordon used a 10-2 run to take a 14-8 lead on a sophomore Garrison Duvivier (Brockton, Mass.) layup with just over five minutes gone by in the half. Wentworth battled back and tied the game on a three pointer from junior Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) with 10:02 left. A free throw from junior Jake Hart (Allendale, N.J.) and a three-point play from Duvivier put the hosts ahead by four (24-20), however a 15-2 run gave Wentworth a 35-26 lead after a freshman Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) layup.

Duvivier hit a pair of free throws with 37 seconds left to cut the lead to seven but Knollmeyer would end the half with a three, giving the Black & Gold a 38-28 lead at the break. Both teams shot well from the floor in the opening frame, as Wentworth was 16-for-30 (53.3 percent) and Gordon was 12-for-23 (52.2 percent).

The Fighting Scots scored the first six points of the second half, cutting the lead to four after two free throws from Hart with 18:34 left. The Leopards responded with an 8-2 run which was capped off by a Knollmeyer three pointer and gave Wentworth a 48-36 lead with 16:33 left.

Wentworth led by 13 after a jumper from senior Dan DeVaux (Wethersfield, Conn.), however the Black & Gold was outscored 12-4 over the next five minutes and led by just five. A three pointer from junior Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) and one of two free throws from classmate Michael Boaheng (Worcester, Mass.) pushed the lead to nine with nine minutes left.

Gordon used a 10-1 run to tie the game at 59-all on a three-point play from sophomore Josh Ribeiro (Attleboro, Mass.). However, Wentworth scored the next seven points and led, 66-59, with 4:36 left in the contest. Duviver hit two free throws to stop the run before Ganley answered with a three. The Fighting Scots closed the gap to within five two more times, including at 71-66 with 2:07 left but would get no closer as a junior Ken Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) layup and two free throws and two free throws each from Azums and Ganley extended the lead.

In addition to Ganley's 14 points, DeVaux scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds, Azums had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Knollmeyer had 10 points and four assists, and Kizel also had 10 points and four assists.

Duvivier led all scorers with 33 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists. Senior Sam Johnson (Chatham, Mass.) had a double-double, scoring 13 points (on 6-of-7 shooting) and grabbing 10 rebounds.

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