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Men's Basketball Advances in CCC Tournament

Men's Basketball Advances in CCC Tournament

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.) match a career high with 20 points to lead a trio of players in double figures as the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team defeated Gordon, 60-53, in a Commonwealth Coast Conference quarterfinal played at Tansey Gymnasium.

With the win the fourth-seeded Leopards improve to 13-13 on the season and will host eighth-seeded University of New England on Thursday night. The Nor'Easters stunned top-seeded Nichols, 50-49, at the buzzer to advance. The Fighting Scots end their season with an 11-15 record.

Neither team could get its offense going in the early stages of the first half. Wentworth took a 12-9 lead on a Donato three-pointer with 12:24 left before Gordon scored the next seven point to take a 16-12 lead on a pair of freshman Jake Hart (Allendale, N.J.) free throws with 8:14 remaining.

The Fighting Scots would increase their lead to five on a three-pointer from freshman Jaren Yang (San Francisco, Calif.) with 5:47 left, however Wentworth would outscore the visitors 9-0 over the remainder of the half and took a 23-19 lead at the break. Wentworth held Gordon to 23.1 percent shooting from the floor, however only shot 25 percent.

Donato opened the second half by converting a layup to make it a six-point game. Yang hit a three to cut the lead in half before the Leopards scored seven of the next 10 points to 32-25 lead. A three-point play by senior Taylor Bajema (Whitinsville, Mass.) brought the lead down to four, however six straight Wentworth points gave the hosts a 10-point lead with 11:32 remaining.

Wentworth led by as many as 12 with 6:12 to play before Gordon used a 12-4 run and trailed by four after a Bajema three with 3:08 to play. One of two free throws from freshman Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) gave the Leopards a five-point lead, however Yang hit a layup to make it a three-point game with 2:43 left.

That would be as close as Gordon would get as a Ganley layup, two free throws from Donato, and a free throw each from freshmen Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) and Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) made it a nine-point game.

Donato was 7-of-14 from the floor, grabbed seven rebounds and had a pair of steals. Fulcar scored 13 points, dished out eight assists, and had three steals. Senior John-Michael Fragnoli (Schenectady, N.Y.) finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Yang led the Fighting Scots with 15 points to go along with three assists. Bajema added 11 points and senior Hans Miersma (Whitinsville, Mass.) scored eight points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and had four blocks.