Wentworth Edges Western New England with Late Run, 72-71

Freshman EJ Day scored 14 points off the bench in Western New England's loss to Wentworth on Tuesday (Photo by Chris Marion).
Freshman EJ Day scored 14 points off the bench in Western New England's loss to Wentworth on Tuesday (Photo by Chris Marion).

Leopards outscore Golden Bears 11-0 over final 4:31 of regulation

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 16, 2018) –
The Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team used an 11-0 run over the final 4:31 of regulation to edge Western New England University, 72-71, on Tuesday evening in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.   

Top Performers
• Freshman forward Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) led the Golden Bears with a team-high 17 points to go with eight rebounds and a season-high four blocks.
• Junior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) finished with 13 points, five assists and two rebounds, while freshman guard EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) added 14 points in 18 minutes off the bench.

• Senior forward Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) paced the Leopards with a game-high 22 points, nine of which came at the free throw line, five rebounds and one assist.
• Senior guard Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) recorded 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, to go along with five rebounds and four assists.
• Sophomore forward Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) rounded out Wentworth's three double-figure scorers with 16 points, six boards and two assists.

Game Review
Holding a four-point lead at halftime, the Golden Bears were able to stretch their advantage to 13 (58-45) when Tavitian knocked down a three-pointer five minutes into the second half. The Leopards closed to within six on several occasions over the next six minutes, but Western New England re-established a ten-point lead (67-57) on a baseline jumper by sophomore Nick DeGennaro (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) with 8:08 remaining in the contest.

The Golden Bears led by the same margin (71-61) when Pettway got to the hoop for a layup with 4:45 to play, but Wentworth began to slowly chip away at its deficit. The Leopards pulled to within four (71-67) with 2:37 remaining after Ganley sank a pair of free throws, and Azums made it a one-point game (71-70) on a layup with 1:19 on the clock. Another Azums layup with 22 seconds remaining put Wentworth in front, and Pettway's jumper at the buzzer was off the mark as the visitors escaped with the win.

Wentworth led 14-4 five minutes into the contest following consecutive triples by senior Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) and Kizel. The Golden Bears answered with a 15-5 run over the next six minutes to pull even at 19-19 on a jumper by freshman Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) at the 8:51 mark, before grabbing their first lead (22-21) when Day connected from beyond the arc with 7:44 left in the first half. Tavitian scored seven points down the stretch and Day added six as the Golden Bears claimed a 41-37 edge at the break.

Notes
• Western New England matched its season-low with six turnovers, while scoring 15 points off 13 Wentworth miscues.
• Following his 13-point effort, Pettway is just 12 shy of 1,000 for his career.
• Western New England's bench outscored the Wentworth reserves 29-7, led by Day (14), DeGennaro (eight) and Sikorski (seven).

Up Next
Western New England (6-8, 3-5 CCC) will be right back in action on Thursday, as the Golden Bears host Gordon at 7:30 p.m. at the AHLC. Wentworth (10-5, 5-3 CCC) will be back on the road Thursday night at Roger Williams.