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Second Half Run Key in Roger Williams' Win Over Men's Basketball

Second Half Run Key in Roger Williams' Win Over Men's Basketball

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Nick Marini (Loudonville, N.Y.) connected on 6-of-9 shots for 17 points to lead four players in double figures as the Roger Williams University men's basketball team defeated Wentworth Institute of Technology, 72-58, in Commonwealth Coast Conference play Saturday afternoon.

Winners of four straight the Hawks improve to 15-6 overall and 9-5 in CCC play while the Leopards fall to 13-8 (9-5).

After Roger Williams took a 4-2 lead on a jumper from sophomore Rich Pugliese (Middlebury, Conn.), Wentworth used a three pointer from senior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) and a layup from sophomore Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) to take a 7-4 lead with 15:06 left in the half. A three pointer from freshman JJ Pfohl (Trumbull, Conn.) and layup from Marini gave the Hawks a 9-7 lead, however, Wentworth regained the lead on a three from Ganley and extended its lead to three on three occasions, including when sophomore Matt Vartanian (Salem, N.H.) hit one of two free throws midway through the half.

Five straight Hawk points gave the visitors a 17-15 lead after a three from sophomore Bryan Donovan (Gainesville, Fla.) before senior Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) connected on a shot from behind the arc to give the hosts the lead back. However, senior Conor O'Brien (Sharon, Mass.) countered with a three, giving Roger Williams a 20-18 lead. The Hawks upped their lead to as many as five on two occasions, including on a Pfohl layup with just under three minutes remaining which made it 27-22. Ganley hit a three to trim the deficit to two (27-25) but a 7-0 run made it 34-25 late in the frame. Senior Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) converted a layup just before the buzzer to make it 34-27 at the break.

Fulcar and classmate Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) knocked down jumpers to open the second half and made it 34-31, however, one of two free throws from Marini and a three pointer from O'Brien made it 38-31 with 17:16 remaining. Wentworth used a 6-1 spurt to come within a pair on a Knollmeyer layup and, after the Hawks built their lead back to six with 13:45 remaining, four points from Knollmeyer and two from Azums evened the score at 45-all with 12:11 left.

Senior Michael Boaheng (Worcester, Mass.) tied the game at 47-all on Wentworth's next possession, however the Hawks used a 17-3 run to take a 14-point lead (64-50) with just over six minutes remaining. A three-point play from Fulcar on the next possession made it 64-53, however that would be as close as the hosts would come as Roger Williams increased its lead to as many as 17 with 2:11 remaining.

In addition to his 17 points, Marini had five rebounds and four assists. O'Brien finished with 15 points, Donovan had 12 points and three assists, and junior Austin Coene (Tyngsborough, Mass.) had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Ganley matched Marini for game-high honors with 17 points of his own while Azums added 14 points (on 7-for-9 shooting) and grabbed six rebounds. Fulcar finished with nine points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Wentworth had a 33-29 rebounding advantage for the contest.

Both teams are in action on Wednesday night. Wentworth hosts the University of New England while Roger Williams is at Eastern Nazarene.

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.