BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Colin Johnson (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) Scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds while junior Derek Mayo (Casco, Maine) had 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, and three steals as the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team won its fourth straight game with a 53-47 win over Western New England in Commonwealth Coast Conference action at Tansey Gym.
A 3-pointer from senior Damon Alston (New Britain, Conn.) just under three minutes into the contest gave the visitors a 5-2 lead before the Leopards responded with a 16-3 run, capped off by a senior Corey Therriault (Auburn, Maine) 3-pointer, and took an 18-8 lead with 10:55 left in the half.
Wentworth would lead by 10 on two other occasions and held a 27-18 lead on a senior Dailon Wilson (Houston, Texas) basket with 41 seconds left. However, a three-point play by junior Ryan Mickiewicz (East Longmeadow, Mass.) with 21 seconds left made it a 27-21 game at the half. Neither team shot above 40 percent in the opening 20 minutes as the Leopards were 10-for-28 and the Golden Bears 8-for-22.
The Golden Bears opened the second half by scoring the first five points, coming on a 3-pointer from sophomore Musa Esir (Springfield, Mass.) and a layup from freshman Zack Askew (Middletown, Conn.), trimming the lead to just one. After sophomore John-Michael Fragnoli (Scotia, N.Y.) pushed the lead back to three, Askew hit two free throws bringing Western New England back within one.
Wentworth used a 15-5 run over the next six and a half minutes and took a 44-33 lead after a sophomore Ray Bessette (Dedham, Maine) 3-pointer, however, the Golden Bears scored the next seven points – with four coming from junior Kevin Wilkes (Troy, N.Y.) and three from freshman Sinclair Lewis (Bristol, Conn.) – cutting the lead to four with 7:54 left.
Johnson responded with a 3-pointer to push the lead to seven, but Western New England scored six straight points, including a layup from Wilkes with 5:21 left to make it a 47-46 game. Wilson would score on a putback off a Fragnoli miss to make it 49-46 Wentworth with 4:55 left and Lewis hit one of two from the line to make it a two-point game with4:43 left.
Neither team would score over the next 2:22 until Therriault caused a turnover and fed Wilson, who drained a 3-pointer from the corner with 2:21 left, giving the Black & Gold a five-point cushion. Wilson would hit one of two free throws with 29 seconds left to close out the game.
Wentworth held the Golden Bears without a field goal over the final 5:21 and held them to 37.8 percent shooting from the floor, while having a slight edge (34-32) in rebounds. The Leopards also scored 19 points off of 16 Western New England turnovers.
Johnson was 5-for-9 from the floor, including 3-for-5 from behind the arc, while Wilson finished with eight points, eight rebounds (five offensive), two steals, and two assists.
Lewis had 10 points for the Golden Bears, while Wilkes added eight. Junior Dennis Rinaldi had eight rebounds and Mickiewicz had four assists.
With the win the Leopards improve to 13-7 overall and remain tied for second in CCC play with a 9-4 record. Wentworth hosts Nichols on Saturday. The Golden Bears fall to 7-13 (5-8) and host Endicott, also on Saturday.