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Balanced Offense Helps Men's Basketball Halt Losing Streak

Balanced Offense Helps Men's Basketball Halt Losing Streak

WORCESTER, Mass. – Paced by three players finishing in double figures, the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak with a 78-67 win over Clark University on the second day of the 2018 Clark Holiday Classic.

With the win the Leopards improve to 3-8 while the Cougars fall to 4-7.

Junior Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) led the way for the Black & Gold as he recorded his sixth double-double of the season with a 21-point, 10-rebound performance. Sophomore Kyle Henseler (Coventry, R.I.) scored 17 points while classmate Gavin Keough (Dunstable, Mass.) chipped in with 16. Azums and Henseler combined to go 23-for-25 from the free throw line as the Leopards connected on 28-of-31 shots from the charity stripe.

Wentworth jumped out to a 10-3 lead after senior Zach Bergeon (Litchfield, N.H.) hit a three pointer with just over 16 minutes remaining in the opening half. Bergeon had five of his team's first 10 points. Clark scored the next seven points and took a 12-10 lead on a freshman Sean Christy (Cumberland, R.I.) layup with 11:40 left. After Henseler tied the game on the Leopards' next possession, the Cougars got four straight points from junior Brendan Kittredge (Clinton, Mass.) to take a 16-12 lead and the hosts upped their lead to as many as eight (28-20) after sophomore Tyler Davern (Webster, Mass.) hit a three with 4:48 left in the half.

Using a 13-2 run, the Black & Gold erased the deficit and took a 33-30 lead on a layup by Auzms with 1:14 left. Henseler had nine of the Leopards' 13 points during the run. A three pointer from freshman Antonio Lapeyrolerie (Plano, Texas) with 45 seconds left ended the run, however, Azums gave Wentworth a 35-33 lead when he played "beat the clock" with a made layup as time expired on the opening frame.

Wentworth opened the second half on a 10-3 run and took a 45-36 lead after a pair of free throws from Azums with 17:40 left to play. Clark responded with a 7-0 run of its own to come within a pair after two free throws from freshman Joel Artega (Wyncote, Pa.). A three pointer from freshman Noah Bice (Woodacre, Calif.) ended the run, however, the Cougars pulled within one (48-47) on a Kittredge jumper. Bice provided some distance when he knocked down his second three in a span of 1:14 and he hit another trifecta with 9:34 remaining as a part of a 12-2 run to give the Leopards their largest lead at 60-49.

A 9-0 Clark run brought the Cougars back within two (60-58), thanks to a jumper from senior Adam Converse (Woodstock, Conn.), however, sophomore Tyler Lennon (Atkinson, N.H.) hit a three which ended the run. The Cougars trimmed the lead to four (66-62) after a pair of free throws from sophomore Biko Gayman (Fort Pierce, Fla.), however, a three from Keough and three points from Azums gave the Black & Gold a 72-62 lead with under two minutes to play and never looked back.

In addition to his 17 points, Henseler grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists while Keough also grabbed five rebounds. Bice finished with nine points – all from behind the arc.

Arteaga led the Cougars with 16 points with Gayman (13) and Lapeyrolerie (10) also scoring in double figures. Lapeyrolerie had a team-high six rebounds.

Wentworth resumes Commonwealth Coast Conference play on Thursday at Roger Williams.

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