Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Late Comeback Pushes Men's Basketball Past Western New England

Late Comeback Pushes Men's Basketball Past Western New England

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Sophomore Stephen Azums' (Hyde Park, Mass.) basket with 22 seconds remaining in regulation capped off an 11-0 run and lifted the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team to a 72-71 win over Western New England in a Commonwealth Coast Conference contest Tuesday night.

With the win the Leopards improve to 10-5 overall and 5-3 in CCC games while the Golden Bears fall to 6-8 (3-5).

Wentworth jumped out to a 14-4 lead five minutes into the contest after senior Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) drained a three pointer. Azums and senior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) each had four points during the opening run.

Nearly three and half minutes elapsed before either team would score a point and junior Zach Bergeon (Litchfield, N.H.) countered with a three after a sophomore Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) jumper to extend the lead to 11 with 11:08 remaining in the half.

Western New England used a 18-4 run and took a 24-21 lead after a layup from sophomore Nick DeGennaro (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) with 7:28 left. Three consecutive three pointers from Kizel, wrapped around a layup from freshman EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) and a jumper from DeGennaro, gave the Black & Gold a 30-28 lead before the Golden Bears used an 13-4 run and took a 41-34 lead on a layup from freshman Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) with 1:18 left in the half. Ganley cut the lead to four when he drained a three with 31 seconds left.

Senior Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) and Ganley opened the second half with back-to-back layups, tying the game at 41-all before a 12-2 Western New England run gave the hosts a 53-43 lead with just over 16 minutes remaining. The Golden Bears extended their lead to 58-43 less than a minute later on a pair of junior Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) free throws and a three pointer from Tavitian.

Wentworth began to chip away at the lead and used a 9-0 run to pull within six (58-52) after two free throws from Ganley. However, Western New England upped its lead to 10 (67-57) on a DeGennaro jumper with 8:08 remaining and also led by 10 on two other occasions, including when a Pettway layup made it 71-61 with 4:45 remaining.

Pettway's basket would be the final one of the game for the Golden Bears as Wentworth ate into the lead, eventually coming within three after Ganley hit one of two free throws with 1:55 left. A missed jumper gave the Leopards the ball back when Azums grabbed the rebound and eventually scored with 1:19 left. On Western New England's next possession a three pointer was missed, setting up the go-ahead basket by Azums. The Golden Bears had one last chance at the buzzer, however, Pettway's jumper missed the mark.

Ganley led all scorers with 22 points to go along with five rebounds. Kizel scored 19 points and grabbed four rebounds while Azums had 16 points and six rebounds. Fulcar chipped in with six points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Wentworth shot 50 percent from the floor for the game and had a 36-28 edge on the glass.

Tavitian led Western New England with 17 points, Day and Pettway added 14 and 13, respectively.

Wentworth is at Roger Williams on Thursday night.

For the latest on Wentworth Athletics, follow the Leopards via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Wentworth Leopards "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.