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Gordon Pulls Away From Men's Basketball

Gordon Pulls Away From Men's Basketball

WENHAM, Mass. – Junior Eric Demers (Acushnet, Mass.) netted a game-high 30 points as three players scored in double figures to help pace the Gordon College men's basketball team to a 94-77 win over Wentworth Institute of Technology in a opening-round contest of the 2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference Men's Basketball Tournament.

With the win the second-seeded Fighting Scots improve to 22-4 and advance to Thursday's semifinal round where they will host third-seeded Roger Williams. The seventh-seeded Leopards conclude the season with an 8-18 record after making their 14th consecutive postseason appearance.

Wentworth took a 9-5 lead 3:21 into the contest on a basket from junior Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) and, after a Demers three, Azums made a basket to make it a three-point game. A 6-2 Gordon spurt gave the hosts a 14-13 lead after Demers made a layup, however, junior Matt Vartanian (Salem, N.H.) answered with a layup of his own to give the Black & Gold a 15-14 lead. Consecutive layups from seniors Garrison Duvivier (Brockton, Mass.) and Noah Szilagyi (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) allowed the Fighting Scots to regain the lead and sophomore Parker Omslaer's (Jackson, N.J.) layup with 9:08 left in the half made it 22-19.

Azums and Szilagyi traded baskets before sophomore Tyler Lennon (Atkinson, N.H.) drained a three to even the score at 24-all. After Duvivier scored, Lennon quickly answered with another three which gave the Black & Gold a 27-26 lead. Gordon used a 9-2 run to take a 35-29 lead with 5:26 left after an Omslaer layup and the hosts pushed their lead to nine (42-33) on a senior Jake Haar (Huntington Beach, Calif.) three with 2:48 to go in the half. Sophomore Kyle Henseler (Coventry, R.I.) hit a three and Vartanian followed with a layup, trimming the lead to 42-38. Demers hit a layup with 50 seconds left, giving the Fighting Scots a 46-40 lead, however, Henseler cut the lead in half with a buzzer-beating three. The first half saw Wentworth shoot nearly 60 percent from the floor while Gordon shot 56 percent.

The Fighting Scots pushed their lead to nine with 17:40 left in the game on a Szilagyi jumper, however, the Leopards cut into the lead after an Azums layup and a Henseler three. Wentworth pulled within four with 12:48 left on a sophomore Gavin Keough (Dunstable, Mass.) basket and the Leopards found themselves trailing by five (65-60) after a basket by Azums with 10:38 remaining. A 9-2 Gordon run extended the lead to 12 after a layup from Omslaer with 7:51 remaining. Wentworth came within 10 on four occasions, including when Henseler knocked down a jumper with 4:33 made it 81-71, but the hosts closed out the game on a 13-6 run.

In addition to Demers, Duvivier scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Omslaer finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Gordon shot 55.9 percent from the floor for the game and had a 37-32 edge on the glass.

Henseler scored a career-high 24 points, shooting 10-f0r-21 from the floor (including going 4-for-7 from behind the arc) to lead three Leopards in double figures. Azums connected on 8-of-11 shots from the floor to score 16 points, while Vartanian came off the bench to score 12 points. Both Azums and Vartanian grabbed eight rebounds.

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