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Men's Basketball Upset by UNE in CCC Quarterfinals

Men's Basketball Upset by UNE in CCC Quarterfinals

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Devin Thompson's (Winthrop, Mass.) jumper with 5:53 remaining would give the University of New England men's basketball team a 53-51 lead it would not relinquish as the seventh-seeded Nor'Easters would hold on to upset second-seeded Wentworth Institute of Technology, 61-58, in a Commonwealth Coast Conference quarterfinal round game.

The University of New England (14-12) pulled off its second consecutive quarterfinal upset and will travel to sixth-seeded Roger Williams for one semifinal on Thursday as the Hawks knocked off third-seeded Eastern Nazarene, 68-67. Wentworth sees its season come to an end with a 15-11. The Nor'Easters also snapped a 13-game series losing streak to Wentworth, winning for the first time since Feb. 4, 2009.

Big Blue gained the early, six-point lead at 16:26 for the first and last time of the first half before Wentworth went on an offensive tear, using an 18-5 run and led 23-16 after a pair of sophomore Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) free throws. The Leopards had taken their first lead of the game in the 14th minute on a jumper by sophomore Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.), followed by back-to-back three-point buckets from sophomores Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) Kizel to put the score at 21-16.

With the University of New England's offense held to just seven points within the final minutes of the first, Wentworth was able to extend its lead to 42-27 thanks to a deep three-point bucket from the hands of senior Ian Therriault (Auburn, Maine) at the top of the key.

In the second half the Nor'easters began to peck away at the 16-point lead held by the Leopards in the early stages of the frame. UNE used a 13-0 run to cut the lead to three on a freshman Blake Swanson (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) three. Thompson scored five points during the run. After Wentworth pushed the lead back to six on a junior Dan DeVaux (Wethersfield, Conn.) basket with 10:47 left, the Nor'Easters used a 10-2 run which was capped off by Thompson's basket.

UNE led by no more than three points at any time and the Leopards would keep battling back to pull within one, including on two free throws from DeVaux with 11 seconds left. On the inbounds pass, junior C.J. Autry (Standish, Maine) was fouled and hit both free throws with just under nine seconds left. Looking for a chance to tie the game, Wentworth worked the ball around, however would throw the ball away just as the buzzer sounded.

After shooting 48.3 percent from the floor in the first half the Leopards were held to 14.8 percent in the second half, including going 0-for-11 from behind the arc, and shot 32.1 percent for the contest.

Three players scored in the double digits for the University of New England. Autry led the way for the Nor'easters, scoring 14 points with five rounds and going a perfect 7-7 at the foul line. Thompson netted 11 points of his own with two rebounds and five assists, while freshman Evrim Ozkan (Istanbul, Turkey) contributed 10 points and went 4-for-6 on the floor.

Therriault netted 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in his final collegiate contest. Ganley added 11 points of his own, including going 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Kizel contributed nine points, and senior Kyle Romich (Groton, Mass.) ended his career with six points and four assists.