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Men's Basketball Rallies, Holds off Drew

Men's Basketball Rallies, Holds off Drew

TAMPA, Fla. – Junior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) poured in 20 of his season-high 30 points in the second half to lead four players in double figures as the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team scored eight points in the final 1:07 to defeat Drew, 84-80, in the third-place game of the 2016 Tampa Bay Shootout.

With the win the Leopards snap a five-game losing streak and improve to 3-7 on the season while the Rangers fell to 5-6 after suffering their second straight defeat. This was the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

After being held to just 43 points in Thursday's loss to DePauw, Wentworth came out firing and would shoot over 60 percent from the floor for the majority of the first half. The Leopards scored the first eight points of the game as Ganley tallied five points and senior Dan DeVaux (Wethersfield, Conn.) added three. Wentworth increased its lead to as many as 16 (28-12) on a trifecta from Ganley with 9:38 remaining.

Drew attempted to chip away at the lead and narrowed the gap to 10 (30-20) on a three pointer from freshman Riley Collins (Lacey, N.J.). However, the Leopards matched their largest lead of the half on two occasions as Ganley gave the Black & Gold a 36-20 lead with 5:20 to play and DeVaux drained a three on Wentworth's next possession to make it 39-23. The Leopards, who shot 53.6 percent from the floor in the opening frame, led 42-28 at the break.

After the Rangers cut the lead to 13 (46-33) on a sophomore Darius Reiter (Littleton, Colo.) free throw with 16:50 remaining, Ganley scored the next five points, giving Wentworth its largest lead of the contest at 51-33.

Using a 26-8 run, Drew came all the way back and tied the game at 59-all when junior Steve Sangree (New Providence, N.J.) hit a three pointer. From there, the game would go back and forth with four ties and six lead changes.

A transition layup from Reiter gave the Rangers a 75-72 lead with 3:08 remaining, however freshman Matt Vartanian (Salem, N.H.) hit two free throws and grabbed a defensive rebound which would eventually lead to a Ganley layup to give Wentworth a 76-75 lead with 1:07 remaining. The lead would be short-lived, however, as Collins scored on Drew's next possession to make it 77-76.

Junior Ben Kizel  (Short Hills, N.J.) gave the Leopards the lead for good with a layup with 44 seconds remaining. After a missed Ranger basket, Wentworth missed a pair of free throws with 19 seconds left. With 14 ticks remaining, the Rangers were called for an offensive foul and were subsequently assessed a technical foul. Kizel stepped to the line and hit both free throws to extend the lead. On the ensuing inbounds pass, DeVaux hit two free throws, making it an 82-77 game with 13 seconds left.

One of two free throws from Ganley with six seconds left pushed the lead to six, and, after Collins hit a three to cut the lead in half, Ganley sealed the win by hitting one of two free throws with just over a second remaining.

Ganley shot 11-for-18 from the floor and also grabbed five rebounds in the win. DeVaux had 15 points, four rebounds, and a pair of assists and, after averaging 15.5 points in the two games, was named to the all-tournament team. Kizel finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, and two assists and Vartanian had 12 points, seven rebounds, and two assists. Ganley, Vartanian, Kizel, and DeVaux combined to go 25-for-31 from the free throw line as the Leopards were 27-for-38 as a team. Wentworth, which shot 51.4 percent from the floor for the game, had a 36-32 rebounding advantage and scored 19 points off 14 Drew turnovers.

Four players also scored in double figures for the Rangers as Collins led the way with 20, followed by Sangree's 19. Reiter had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds and sophomore Chatham Studer (Redding, Conn.) finished with 10.

Wentworth continues Commonwealth Coast Conference play on Tuesday night at Endicott.