Men's Basketball Fends off Gordon for Third Straight Win

Men's Basketball Fends off Gordon for Third Straight Win

WENHAM, Mass. – Freshman Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) scored a career-high 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor to lead five players in double figures as the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team picked up its third straight win with an 86-78 win over Gordon in a Commonwealth Coast Conference contest played at the Bennett Center.

With the win the Leopards, who shot 65.3 percent from the floor, improve to 7-9 overall and 5-4 in CCC play while the Fighting Scots saw their three-game winning streak come to an end, falling to 9-7 (6-3). Wentworth has now won six straight game in the series between the two squads.

Gordon took an 8-5 lead in the first half on a junior Jake Hart (Allendale, N.J.) layup. Junior Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) countered with a three pointer to even the game at 8-all and would be the first of three ties in the span of less than two minutes.

A Kizel layup with 13:16 left in the half started an 8-0 run which saw a one-point deficit turned into a seven-point lead on a freshman Matt Vartanian (Salem, N.H.) layup with 11:33 left. Kizel drained a three and Azums converted a layup to give the Black & Gold a 26-16 lead and Wentworth again led by 10 (28-18) on a Kizel layup.

The Fighting Scots used a 9-3 run to cut the lead to four (31-27) after a junior Jaren Yang (San Francisco, Calif.) free throw with 6:21 remaining. During the run sophomore Garrisson Duvivier (Brockton, Mass.) had eight straight points before Yang's free throw.

Wentworth answered with an 8-0 run and took a 39-27 lead after Vartanian's second straight layup. Gordon trimmed the lead to six, however junior Cesar Fulcar's (Watertown, Mass.) three with eight seconds left upped the lead to nine at the break.

Junior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) scored eight straight points for the Leopards during an 8-4 spurt to open the second half, which increased the lead to 13 (52-39). A 14-4 Gordon run – capped off by a Yang three pointer – brought the Fighting Scots with a three, however Ganley drained a three to start a 7-0 run and give Wentworth a 63-53 lead with just over 13 minutes remaining.

Gordon pulled back within five with 11:44 left but an Azums layup and five straight points from senior Dan DeVaux (Wethersfield, Conn.) put the Black & Gold ahead by double digits once again. DeVaux's three pointer with 5:42 left gave the visitors their largest lead of the game at 78-62.

The Fighting Scots would not go quietly, however, as the hosts used a 13-0 run to crawl back in the game and trailed by just three (78-75) with 1:52 left after a senior Sam Johnson (Chatham, Mass.) layup. Ganley ended the run with a layup and Kizel hit two free throws to extend the lead. DeVaux and Azums combined for four free throws down the stretch to help seal the win.

In addition to his 19 points, Azums grabbed six rebounds. Ganley connected on 6-of-8 shots from the floor, including going 3-for-4 from behind the arc, for 16 points. DeVaux was 5-for-6 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from behind the arc, for 15 points to go along with three steals. Kizel (4-for-5 from the floor) and Vartanian (6-for-10 from the floor) scored 12 apiece. Junior Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) had seven assists.

Duvivier led all scorers with 24 points, while Johnson was 7-for-8 from the floor (15 points) and Hart added 12 points.

Wentworth hosts Nichols on Saturday.