BIDDEFORD, Maine – Senior Corey Therriault (Auburn, Maine) scored a team-high 12 points while classmate Colin Johnson (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) added 11 as the Wentworth men's basketball team held off a late University of New England rally with a 59-47 win in the Commonwealth Coast Conference opener for both teams.
The Leopards led from start to finish, taking an early 6-5 lead and turning it into a 35-7 advantage with 4:54 left in the first half. During the 29-2 run junior Derek Mayo (Casco, Maine) and Johnson had six and five points, respectively. The Nor'Easters would use a 7-2 spurt to close out the half, making it a 37-14 game at the break.
Over the first 20:00, the Leopards shot 53.6 percent from the floor – including going 7-for-11 from behind the arc – and held the hosts to 23.8 percent shooting.
Wentworth used a 13-2 run to open the second half and took its largest lead of 34 (50-16) on a 3-pointer from sophomore Ray Bessette (Dedham, Maine) with 15:09 left. UNE junior Charles Fenner III (Bronx, N.Y.) buried a three to make it a 50-19 game before freshman Cam Sennick (Wilton, Maine) gave the Black & Gold a 52-19 lead with 13:40 left.
The Nor'Easters would hold the Leopards scoreless over the next 11:30 and cut the lead to just seven (52-45) on a 3-pointer from freshman Mitch Loeman (Freeport, Maine) with 2:27 left. Therriault and Mayo answered with baskets to push the lead back to double digits with a minute left as Wentworth held on for the win.
In addition to his 12 points Therriault also had five rebounds. Mayo finished with nine points, five rebounds, and three steals. Bessette, Sennick, and sophomore John-Michael Fragnoli (Scotia, N.Y.) had six points apiece in the win.
UNE was led by a 15-point, four-steal effort from Fenner, while Loeman added 10 points. The Nor'Easters were held to 31.4 percent shooting from the floor for the game.
Winners of three straight, Wentworth improves to 3-2 overall and starts conference play at 1-0. The Leopards host Eastern Nazarene on Saturday. The Nor'Easters fall to 1-5 (0-1) and are at Salve Regina on Saturday.