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Men's Basketball Runs Win Streak to Four

Men's Basketball Runs Win Streak to Four

BIDDEFORD, Maine – Senior John-Michael Fragnoli (Schenectady, N.Y.) scored a game-high 19 points to help the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team won its fourth straight game with a 61-49 win over the University of New England in Commonwealth Coast Conference play at the Harold Alfond Forum.

The Leopards, who matched their longest win streak of the season, even their record at 10-10 overall and 8-5 in CCC play while the Nor'Easters fall to 5-15 (3-10).

On UNE's first possession the hosts took a 3-0 lead after a 3-pointer from freshman Drew Coveney (Londonderry, N.H.). Wentworth used an 11-4 run – with six of those points coming from Fragnoli – and took an 11-7 lead with 15:39 to play. Two free throws from sophomore CJ Autry (Standish, Maine) and a Coveney layup would knot the game at 11-all less than two minutes later.

Five straight Fragnoli points gave the Leopards a 16-11 lead, and, after the Nor'Easters got a three from junior Devin Thompson (Winthrop, Mass.), senior Ray Bessette (Dedham, Maine) drained a three and classmate Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.) hit a layup to make it a 21-14 game with 9:23 left.

UNE would pull within one with 3:54 left after an Autry layup however a freshman Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) 3-pointer extended the lead to four. Wentworth held a 28-25 lead at the break.

Both teams struggled to score in the early part of the second half before Autry's layup made it a 28-27 game. After a Fragnoli layup, Autry brought the hosts back within one with just under 16 minutes remaining. A 9-2 run – capped off by two Ganley free throws – put Wentworth ahead 39-31 before four straight Nor'Easter points brought the lead to four.

Back-to-back jumpers by Ganley doubled the Leopards' lead at 43-35 with 10:42 left. The Nor'Easters would come within six on two occasions, however the Leopards quickly answered and would extend their lead to 12. A 3-pointer from Conevey with 40 seconds left ended a stretch of 5:37 Wentworth held UNE without a field goal and brought the lead to seven. However, five of six free throws in the final 37 seconds gave Wentworth a double digit victory.

Fragnoli was 8-for-16 from the floor in scoring his 19 points. Bessette scored 13, Ganley scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds off the bench, and Donato scored eight and had four steals. The Leopards held a 36-24 rebounding edge.

Coveney scored 17 and Autry 12 for the Nor'Easters.

Both teams continue CCC play on Saturday as the Leopards host Eastern Nazarene and UNE is at Salve Regina.