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Men's Basketball Pulls Away From Roger Williams

Men's Basketball Pulls Away From Roger Williams

BRISTOL, R.I. – Sophomore Gavin Keough (Dunstable, Mass.) scored 17 of his career-high 25 points in the first half to help power the Wentworth Institute of technology men's basketball team to its second straight win, an 81-72 triumph over Roger Williams in Commonwealth Coast Conference play Thursday night.

With the win the Leopards improve to 4-8 overall and even their CCC record at 2-2 while the Hawks were knocked from the ranks of team undefeated in league play, falling to 3-1 in the CCC and 6-7 overall.

Roger Williams jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the first four minutes of the contest, thanks in part to senior Austin Coene's (Tyngsborough, Mass.) six points. The Hawks held a 17-11 lead with 14:15 left in the opening frame before Wentworth used an 11-4 run and took a 28-21 lead after Keough made a jumper. During the run the Black & Gold scored on seven straight possessions. Roger Williams pulled within a pair at 28-26 after Coene hit a pair of free throws with 8:34 to play, however, seven straight Leopard points extended the lead to 37-26 after Keough hit a three pointer.

Back-to-back three pointers from senior Jake Heaton (Shelton, Conn.) brought the hosts to within five (37-32) with 4:36 left, however, Wentworth scored six of the final seven points of the half to lead by 10 (43-33) at the break. The Leopards shot 53.1 percent from the floor in the opening half, which included shooting 5-for-10 from behind the arc.

Two and a half minutes into the second half, the Black & Gold took a 13-point lead (48-35) after senior Zach Bergeon (Litchfield, N.H.) hit one of two free throws. A three-point play by Bergeon put the visitors ahead by 13 for a second time before Roger Williams charged back with an 11-2 run and trailed by four (53-49) after a layup from Coene. Junior Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) stopped the run with a layup before Coene hit two free throws to make it a 55-51 game with 10:35 remaining. Back-to-back three pointers from freshman Noah Bice (Woodacre, Calif.) and Keough extended the lead back to double figures and a 12-0 run down the stretch put Wentworth ahead, 77-59, with under two minutes remaining.

The Hawks used three consecutive three pointers; one from sophomore JJ Prohl (Trumbull, Conn.) and two from Coene to trim the lead to nine with 39 seconds left. Azums and Bice combined to hit four free throws in a 32-second span to help ensure Roger Williams would not get closer.

Keough shot 9-for-15 from the floor, including 5-for-8 from behind the arc. Joining him in double figures were Azums (17 points, five rebounds) and Bice (15 points on 5-for-8 shooting, five assists). Bergeon finished with nine points, six rebounds, and three assists. As a team the Black & Gold shot 50.8 percent from the floor and had a 33-26 rebounding margin.

Coene led all scorers with 38 points, connecting on 13-of-18 shots from the floor.

Wentworth is at Salve Regina on Saturday.

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