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Men's Basketball Defeats Western New England

Men's Basketball Defeats Western New England

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Senior John-Michael Fragnoli (Schenectady, N.Y.) scored 16 points to help pace the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team to a 66-51 win over Western New England in a Commonwealth Coast Conference contest on Wednesday evening.

With the win the Leopards, who maintain their two-game lead over Gordon for fourth place with three games remaining, improve to 11-11 overall and 9-6 in league play while the Golden Bears fall to 8-14, 6-9.

Wentworth entered the game ranked fifth in Division III in scoring defense (56.3 points per game) and 18th (first in the conference) in field goal percentage defense (.386) and saw both those numbers improve, holding an opponent to 55 or fewer points for the 11th time this season while holding the Golden Bears to 32.1 percent shooting for the contest.

The Golden Bears took a 5-0 lead in the first 1:37 of the contest with sophomore Mike Gelineau (Waltham, Mass.) making a layup and junior Zack Askew (Middletown, Conn.) making a three-point play. Two junior Ian Therriault (Auburn, Maine) free throws and a layup by Fragnoli, sandwiched around an Askew dunk, made it a 7-4 contest three minutes in.

Western New England led by eight (15-7) when junior Luis Agrait (South Hadley, Mass.) made a layup, however Wentworth answered with an 18-0 run and took a 25-15 lead on two senior Ray Bessette (Dedham, Maine) free throws with 7:11 left.

The Leopards held the Golden Bears without a field goal for a span of nearly 13 and a half minutes after Agrait's layup and led by as many as 13 after junior Kyle Romich (Groton, Mass.) drained a three with 2:16 to play in the half. The Golden Bears countered with an 8-0 run, cutting the lead to five with 52 seconds left. Freshman Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) hit two free throws with 27 ticks left to give Wentworth a 35-28 edge at the break.

Knollmeyer opened the second half with a jumper, Fragnoli followed with a layup, and Bessette drained a three to put Wentworth ahead, 42-28. The Leopards extended their lead to 15 as many as three times, including when senior Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.) hit two free throws with 4:41 left. Western New England used a 7-2 spurt to cut the lead to 10 with 2:38 left, however nine made free throws down the stretch put the game out of reach.

Fragnoli was 7-for-10 from the floor and grabbed four rebounds while tying for the game high with 16 points. Bessette added a dozen points and five rebounds and Knollmeyer and Donato scored eight apiece. Donato also grabbed five rebounds, dished out five assists, and had three thefts while Therriault had seven rebounds.

Graduate student Nick DeFeo (Southington, Conn.) matched Fragnoli's game high with 16 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists. Askew scored nine points, grabbed seven rebounds, and had four assists.

Both teams are in action on Saturday with Wentworth hosting Roger Williams and Western New England traveling to Eastern Nazarene.

WENTWORTH (11-11, 9-6 CCC)
John-Michael Fragnoli 7-10 2-2 16; Ray Bessette 3-7 5-6 12; Nico Donato 1-7 5-6 8; Sam Knollmeyer 2-6 3-4 8; Jason Ganley 3-9 0-0 6; Cesar Fulcar 1-3 3-6 5; Ben Kizel 0-1 3-5 3; Kyle Romich 1-1 0-0 3; Dan DeVaux 1-6 1-2 3; Ian Therriault 0-3 2-2 2; Jovanny Lamisere 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-53 24-33 66.
Nick DeFeo 5-14 3-4 16; Zack Askew 4-9 1-1 9; Luis Agrait 3-4 0-0 8; Musa Elsir 2-10 2-4 7; Mike Gelineau 2-7 2-2 7; Tizauni Boyles 1-1 0-0 2; Don Stephens 0-1 2-2 2; Nathaniel Martin 0-0 0-0 0; Andre Joyner 0-0 0-0 0; Lucien Fortier 0-1 0-0 0; Daniel Silva 0-0 0-0 0; Gerald McDonald 0-2 0-0 0; Nelson Zayas 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 17-53 10-13 51.
Wentworth.....................   35   31  -   66
Western New England...........   28   23  -   51
3-point goals--Wentworth 4-17 (Nico Donato 1-4; Ray Bessette 1-3; Kyle Romich 1-1; Sam Knollmeyer 1-4; Dan DeVaux 0-2; Ian Therriault 0-1; Ben Kizel 0-1; Jason Ganley 0-1), Western New England 7-28 (Nick DeFeo 3-10; Luis Agrait 2-3; Musa Elsir 1-5; Mike Gelineau 1-6; Lucien Fortier 0-1; Nelson Zayas 0-2; Don Stephens 0-1). Fouled out--Wentworth-None, Western New England-Mike Gelineau. Rebounds--Wentworth 44 (Jason Ganley 9), Western New England 33 (Musa Elsir 8). Assists--Wentworth 11 (Nico Donato 5), Western New England 14 (Zack Askew 4). Total fouls--Wentworth 17, Western New
England 26. Technical fouls--Wentworth-None, Western New England-Nick DeFeo. A-400