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Endicott Pulls Away From Men's Basketball

Endicott Pulls Away From Men's Basketball

BEVERLY, Mass. – Freshman Matt McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) scored 17 of his team-high 22 points in the second half as the Endicott College men's basketball team defeated Wentworth Institute of Technology, 83-74, in a Commonwealth Coast Conference quarterfinal played at MacDonald Gymnasium.

With the win the Gulls improve to 18-8 and will play either second-seeded Gordon or seventh-seeded Salve Regina in the semifinal round Thursday night. The Leopards see their season come to an end with a 14-12 record, marking the fourth straight season the Black & Gold have finished with a .500 or better record.

Wentworth senior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) led all scorers with a season-high 34 points and, in the process, ended his career with the third-highest point total in program history (1,527).

A slow start by both teams saw Endicott take an 8-4 lead on a layup from McDevitt, and, with 11:31 remaining, sophomore Mathew Catizone (Woburn, Mass.) hit a three to make it 13-6. Wentworth scored the next five points as senior Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) hit a three and, after a turnover, sophomore Ellis Christmas (Elmsford, N.Y.) put home a second-chance opportunity to make it 13-11. The Gulls scored the next seven points and took a 20-11 lead on a junior Nick Thibeault (Gorham, Maine) putback.

Wentworth closed the gap to 24-22 after a Ganley three and came within one when senior Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) knocked down a three before taking a 27-26 lead on a sophomore Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) layup with 4:25 left.

Catizone and Azums traded baskets to make it 29-28 in favor of Wentworth before sophomore Keith Brown (Pelham, N.H.) hit a three to give the hosts a 31-29 lead and Endicott led, 36-31, at the break. Brown had 16 points in the first half for the Gulls while Ganley had 10 for Wentworth.

Neither team scored in the second half until Ganley buried a three 2:20 into the frame to make it 36-34. Endicott pushed the lead to nine on a pair of occasions, including at 52-43, before a senior Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) jumper and a Knollmeyer layup made it 52-47 with 11:20 remaining.

A Thibeaut three with 9:49 remaining started a 10-0 run for the Gulls, who opened their lead to 15 (62-47) on a Thibeault dunk. Endicott extended its lead to 17 (71-54) on a three from senior Joel Villa (Bronx, N.Y.) with 5:54 remaining.

Wentworth pulled within 12 on a Ganley three with 1:13 remaining and, after the hosts made it a 14-point game, scored the final five points of the contest.

Endicott shot 55.2 percent in the second half, including shooting 61.1 percent from behind the arc over the final 20 minutes.

McDevitt connected on 8-of-10 shots, including 6-of-8 from behind the arc and also grabbed six rebounds. Brown finished with 20 points while Thibeault added 10 points and eight assists.

In addition to Ganley's 34 points, Azums recorded his 12th double-double of the season as he scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Knollmeyer also scored 11 points and dished out three assists.

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