WENHAM, Mass. – Junior Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) tied a single-game program record by hauling down 23 rebounds in the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team's 73-71 loss at Gordon on Wednesday night. Azums ties the record which was set by Sam Herrick in a 96-95, double-overtime loss at Albertus Magnus on March 2, 2011, in the ECAC New England Quarterfinals.
With the win the Fighting Scots, who received 10 votes in the latest D3Hoops.com Top 25 Poll, improve to 18-2 overall and 10-1 in Commonwealth Coast Conference play while the Leopards fall to 6-14 (4-8).
Connecting on their first five shots of the game, Gordon raced out to a 14-4 lead after a three pointer from junior Eric Demers (Acushnet, Mass.). Out of a time out, Wentworth went on a 9-0 run, with four of those points coming from Azums, and trailed by just one (14-13) with 13:20 remaining. Demers ended the run with a three, however, sophomore Kyle Henseler (Coventry, R.I.) answered with a trifecta of his own just 20 seconds later to bring the lead back to one.
The Fighting Scots built the lead back up to five, thanks to a jumper from Demers and two free throws from freshman David Massillon (Lynn, Mass.) before Azums scored four straight points to make it 21-20 with 7:22 left in the half. A three pointer and jumper from Demers gave Gordon a 26-20 lead, however, sophomore Gavin Keough (Dunstable, Mass.) and freshman Noah Bice (Woodacre, Calif.) each hit shots from behind the arc to even the score at 26-all. Four straight points from Demers started a 10-2 run with Demers hitting a three with 30 seconds left to make it 36-28 before sophomore Tyler Lennon (Atkinson, N.H.) converted a layup with eight ticks left, making it a 36-30 game at the half.
Gordon had a steady lead throughout the first few minutes of the second half and took its largest lead of the game when Demers converted a three-point play with 14:41 left to make it 48-37. A three from Bice started a 10-2 run which saw Keough knock down a three to make it 50-47 with just over 13 minutes remaining. Four free throws from Massillon pushed the lead back to seven but Keough hit back-to-back threes to start a 9-2 run which tied the game at 56-all after Azums converted a three-point play.
Azums gave Wentworth its first lead of the night (61-60) which started a string of three lead changes and two ties. Henseler buried a three with 3:30 left to give the Black & Gold a 69-66 lead, however, two free throws and a jumper from senior Garrisson Duvivier (Brockton, Mass.) gave the hosts the lead back with 1:34 left. After a pair of missed free throws with 46 seconds left, Azums grabbed his record-tying 23rd rebound and scored on a layup to pull the Leopards within one. A foul sent Massillon to the line with 19 seconds left where he hit the first and had the second one called off due to a lane violation. With two fouls to give, Gordon used one in the frontcourt with three seconds left. Out of a time out, Bice nearly tied the game as time expired, however, his jumper from 17 feet out rimmed out.
Demers led all scorers with 34 points while senior Noah Szilagyi (Highland Ranch, Colo.) added 16 on 7-for-10 shooting. Duvivier finished with a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
To go along with his 23 rebounds, Azums was one of four Leopards in double figures as he scored 17 points. Keough led the Leopards with 21 points, as he connected on 7-of-13 shots from behind the arc. Bice scored 12 points and Henseler added 10. Wentworth had a 44-41 rebounding advantage.
Wentworth is at Endicott on Saturday.
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