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Framingham State Holds Off Men's Basketball

Framingham State Holds Off Men's Basketball

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Manny Payton (Fitchburg, Mass.) scored a team-high 20 points as the Framingham State men's basketball team fended off Wentworth Institute of Technology, 56-53, in non-conference action Wednesday night at Tansey Gymnasium.

The Rams pick up a win in their season opener while the Leopards slip to 0-2.

After the teams traded baskets in the opening portion of the game, Wentworth jumped out to an 8-3 lead, thanks to four points from junior Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.). Framingham State used an 8-0 run, capped off by a three pointer from Payton, to take an 11-8 lead with 13:48 remaining. The hosts got within one on two occasions, including on a jumper from freshman Noah Bice (Woodacre, Calif.) with 11:21 remaining, however, the Rams went on a 9-0 run and grabbed their largest lead of the game (22-12) with just under seven minutes remaining. Scoring the next seven points, Wentworth came within three with 4:44 left before Framingham State brought the lead back to 10 points, 1:22 later and led by seven (31-24) at the break.

A 7-0 run to open the second half, capped off by a sophomore Gavin Keough (Dunstable, Mass.) layup, evened the score at 31-all with 17:08 left in the contest. The Rams brought their lead to six with just over 13 minutes remaining when Payton hit one of two from the line and again when freshman Lens Esquil (Taunton, Mass.) hit a layup. Wentworth pulled within one on a layup from sophomore Trey Carrier (Wilton, N.H.) but a 6-2 spurt gave Framingham State a 50-42 lead with 6:40 remaining.

The Leopards pulled within three on two occasions, including on a layup from Azums with 45.9 seconds to play. One of two free throws from freshman Jared Gordon-Anderson (Framingham, Mass.) with 39 seconds left made it a four-point contest before Azums made a layup to cut the lead in half with 25 ticks left. After Wentworth committed a foul it had to give, Payton was fouled and hit two free throws. However, Azums converted on the other end, making it a two-point game with just under three seconds left. On the inbound pass, Payton was fouled and hit the first before his second attempt was missed and an offensive rebound ran out the clock.

In addition to his 20 points, Payton had six rebounds and three assists while Gordon-Anderson had 12 points and four rebounds. Junior Tyri Hampton (Fitchburg, Mass.) scored eight points, grabbed nine rebounds, and had four assists.

Azums led all scorers with 23 points to go along with 19 rebounds, which matches a career high. Sophomore Kyle Henseler (Coventry, R.I.) added eight points, five rebounds, and three assists, while senior Zach Bergeon (Litchfield, N.H.) scored six points, grabbed eight rebounds, and had four assists. Wentworth had a 46-34 rebounding advantage.

Wentworth plays at the Coaches vs Cancer Tournament this weekend in New London, Conn. The Leopards will face Connecticut College on Saturday and Coast Guard on Sunday. Framingham State heads to the Amherst Tournament where the Rams will play the host Mammoths on Friday.

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.