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Men's Basketball Fends Off Late Endicott Charge

Men's Basketball Fends Off Late Endicott Charge

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Kyle Romich (Groton, Mass.) had 17 of his career-high 31 points in the second half and recorded a double-double as he also grabbed 10 rebounds to help the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team fend off Endicott, 77-75, in Commonwealth Coast Conference action.

With the win the Leopards improve to 7-7 overall and 5-2 in CCC play while the Gulls see their four-game win streak snapped, falling to 8-6 (5-2).

In a rematch of last year's CCC title game, Endicott raced out to a 7-0 start before Wentworth used a 14-2 run to take a 14-9 lead with 13:41 remaining. During the run, Romich scored 11 straight points, including back-to-back trifectas in transition. The Leopards' lead swelled to nine when Romich drained another shot from behind the arc with 7:04 left, and, after a junior Daquan Sampson (Germantown, Md.) layup, sophomore Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) put the hosts back in front by nine on the next possession.

The Gulls trimmed the lead to four (26-22) with 3:35 left in a briskly played first half, however seven straight points from junior Dan DeVaux (Wethersfield, Conn.) gave the Black & Gold their first double-digit lead of the evening (33-22) with 1:11 left. Freshman Vinny Clifford hit a three with 32 ticks left to make it a 33-25 contest at the break.

Endicott outscored Wentworth 13-8 over the first 4:20 of the second half and pulled within three on a pair of junior Max Motroni (West Warwick, R.I.) free throws. Ganley responded with a layup and the Leopards would eventually work the lead back to 10 on a pair of occasions, including when sophomore Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) converted a layup with 9:59 left.

After the Gulls whittled the lead to two with 5:19 left, a 6-0 Leopard spurt which was capped off by a three-point play by Romich made it an eight-point game with 3:28 remaining. Holding an eight-point lead with 1:08 left Wentworth saw the lead slip to four after three pointers from Walker and junior Chris Lipscomb (West Springfield, Mass.) sandwiched around a pair of sophomore Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) free throws.

Lipscomb's trifecta made it 74-70 with 38 seconds left and Walker forced a turnover on Wentworth's next possession, which led to a junior Stephen Basden (Lynn, Mass.) layup, cutting the lead to two with 27 seconds left. Wentworth would beat the press, however Ganley's shot attempt was blocked out of bounds by Walker. Out of a time out Romich was fouled and hit both free throws to make it 76-72 with 13 seconds left. Walker attempted a three which was off the mark and one of two free throws by Romich with five seconds left made it 77-72. Walker hit a three as time expired to make a 77-75 final.

In addition to his double-double, Romich also had five assists. DeVaux matched a career high with 18 points and Ganley added 16 points, six rebounds, and three assists. The Leopards had a 41-26 advantage on the glass and shot just under 50 percent for the game.

Walker scored 31 points and dished out four assists for the Gulls while Motroni added 22. Sampson and Basden had seven rebounds apiece. Basden also had four steals.

Both teams continue league play on Saturday as Wentworth is at Salve Regina and Endicott is at Gordon.