BOSTON, Mass. – Junior Zach Bergeon's (Litchfield, N.H.) free throw with 2:24 remaining in overtime snapped a 56-all tie as the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team outlasted Curry, 62-58, in Commonwealth Coast Conference action Wednesday night.
With the win the Leopards run their win streak to four, improving to 13-5 overall and 8-3 in conference play while the Colonels fall to 1-17 (0-11 CCC).
Wentworth was in control early as the Leopards raced out to a 15-5 lead, capped off by a layup from senior Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.). During the run, senior Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) had a pair of fast-break layups, one coming off of a steal while the other came when classmate Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) caused a turnover and tipped the ball to Knollmeyer on the break.
Curry chipped away and pulled within four at 21-17 with 8:25 remaining, thanks to a freshman Akhari Goodridge (Cambridge, Mass.) layup. A pair of three pointers from senior Barak Swarttz (Newton, Mass.) were sandwiched around a sophomore Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) layup before Goodridge's basket capped off an 8-2 run.
A pair of Kizel free throws started an 8-0 run, with senior Michael Boaheng (Worcester, Mass.) capping off the run with a basket with 6:38 left and giving the hosts a 29-17 lead. Curry scored the next four points before an Azums layup with 1:29 remaining put Wentworth on top by eight (31-23) at the half.
The teams traded baskets for the first 3:45 of the second half with the Colonels then using an 11-2 run to take their first lead of the game, 40-39, on a sophomore Kieran Carroll (Greenwich, Conn.) jumper. Wentworth regained the lead on a basket by Azums and took a three-point lead twice, including on a pair of Knollmeyer free throws with 10:34 left. On the ensuing possession, Carroll evened the score at 45-all with a three pointer.
After Azums gave the Black & Gold a 47-45 lead, Curry scored the next four points before Boaheng's layup with 4:43 left evened the score at 49-all with just under four minutes remaining. Curry regained the lead on a three pointer from junior Lherief Kenku (Brockton, Mass.) and took a five-point lead on a second-chance basket from senior John Coleman (Warwick, R.I.) with 2:26 left.
Kizel got an offensive rebound off a Fulcar missed three and fed senior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) to cut the lead to three with 1:37 left in regulation. Turnovers and missed shots were the plagued both teams, including a lane violation by the Colonels with gave the hosts the ball back with 19 seconds left. Boaheng converted a second-chance layup and was fouled with eight seconds left. Despite missing the free throw, the Leopards retained possession after the ball was deflected out of bounds. With 1.7 seconds left, Bergeon was fouled while in the act of taking a three pointer and hit one free throw to send the game into overtime.
With 3:03 left in the extra session, Fulcar hit two free throws before freshman Jeff Card (Providence, R.I.) hit two from the stripe to tie the game 14 seconds later. Bergeon's free throw was followed by one of two from Fulcar while gave Wentworth a 58-56 lead with 1:24 left. A missed three pointer gave Wentworth the ball back and Fulcar knocked down a jumper to extend the lead to four. Two free throws from Card cut the lead in half and, with 22 seconds left, Knollmeyer hit one of two free throws to make it a three-point contest. A missed Curry shot from behind the arc resulted in Bergeon grabbing the rebound and getting fouled where he sealed the win with one of two free throws with two seconds left.
Four players scored in double figures for Wentworth, led by Azums who had a double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds. Ganley finished with 12 points, Fulcar added 11 on 4-of-6 shooting, and Knollmeyer had 10. Wentworth had a 41-35 rebounding edge and held the Colonels without a field goal for the final 2:26 of regulation and all of overtime.
Four players scored in double figures for Curry, with Card scoring 11 points and dishing out nine assists to lead the way. Coleman, Kenku, and Swarttz each scored 10 points.
Both teams continue CCC play on Saturday as Wentworth is at Eastern Nazarene and Curry hosts Endicott.
(Game Recap Courtesy of Wentworth Institute of Technology Sports Information)