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Men's Basketball Holds on For Win

Men's Basketball Holds on For Win

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Sophomore Ronnie Turner (Lewiston, Maine) scored a team-high 18 points to pace the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team to its second straight win, a 60-56 victory over Western New England in Commonwealth Coast Conference action.

With the win the Leopards improve to 8-6 overall and 5-2 in league play while the Golden Bears slip to 3-10 (1-6)

The Leopards took an early first half lead on the hot-shooting of Turner, who scored nine points on 3-pointers in the first half. He finished 6-of-7 from the field, including a perfect 4-for-4 from 3-point range. Freshman Jherson Colon (Boston, Mass.)  added 15 points and contributed to the strong defense shown by the Leopards.

Wentworth built an 18-point lead (35-17) at halftime, which ended with a trey at the buzzer from Ray Bessette. In the opening 20 minutes, the Leopards made 13 of 25 field goals for 52.0 percent compared to 8-of-23 for 34.8 for WNE.

However, in the second half, the Golden Bears made a push to get back in the game in a hurry by causing turnovers and winning the battle on the glass. The Golden Bears changed up their offensive attack by getting the ball down low, which resulted in 20 points in the paint. Junior Musa Elsir and senior Ryan Mickiewicz scored 10 and eight points, respectively, to key a 25-12 WNE run--highlighted by a dunk by sophomore Zack Askew (6 points)--over a 10-minute span to close within 47-42.

Wentworth was able to increase the lead to 51-42 at the 7:17 mark on consecutive baskets by Cam Sennick (Wilton, Maine) for his only points of the contest.

Western New England, however, didn't quit and was able to put together another surge to make it 51-50 after a pair of Dennis Rinaldi free throws with 2 minutes and 21 seconds remaining. Nick DeFeo, Askew and Mickiewicz all scored on lay-ups as part of the 8-0 run.

On Wentworth's following possession, Colon drained a trey from the wing to make it 54-50 with 2:01 to go. The teams traded points the rest of the way and Colon iced the victory with two free throws with four seconds left after Elsir converted a lay-in just two seconds earlier to make the score 58-56.

Elsir had 18 points and Rinaldi added 11 points and 12 rebounds while Mickiewicz added 10 points and DeFeo had nine points with five assists and two steals for the Golden Bears.

Both teams hit the road on Saturday as Wentworth is at Nichols and Western New England is at Endicott.