WENHAM, Mass. – Four players scored in double figures, including junior Park Thomas (Scottsdale, Ariz.) who led the way with a game-high 20, as the Gordon College men's basketball team snapped Wentworth's five-game win streak with a 66-53 win in Commonwealth Coast Conference action Saturday afternoon.
Wentworth trailed by a pair early in the contest before responding with a 9-0 run and took an 11-4 run on a sophomore Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.) steal and layup. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Thomas cut the lead to one, and, after senior Colin Johnson (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) hit one of two free throws, senior David Dempsey (Wallingford, Conn.) scored the next four points to give the hosts a 14-12 lead with 11:53 left in the half.
The Leopards would outscore the Fighting Scots 12-2 over the next six minutes and would lead by eight (24-16) on a pair of senior Dailon Wilson (Houston, Texas) free throws. Gordon battled back to tie the game at 27-all with 51 seconds left in the first half on two free throws from sophomore Hans Miersma (Whitinsville, Mass.) before a 3-pointer from senior Corey Therriault (Auburn, Maine) in the waning seconds of the first half gave the Black & Gold a 30-27 lead at the break.
Miersma opened the second half by hitting one of two from the line to cut the lead to a pair, but Wentworth sophomore John-Michael Fragnoli (Scotia, N.Y.) scored four straight points to put the lead at six (34-28) with just under two minutes gone in the second stanza.
A 9-0 run by Gordon, including five straight points from junior Luke Hamilton (Mount Airy, N.C.), gave the hosts a 37-34 lead with 13:54 left, however Wentworth got back-to-back long-range shots from freshman Tim Juitt (Ashland, Mass.) and Therriault to reclaim the lead at 40-37.
Gordon tied the game at 40-all on a 3-pointer from sophomore Taylor Bajema (Whitinsville, Mass.) and took the lead for good on its next possession, thanks to a Dempsey basket. After the Fighting Scots increased their lead to five, the Leopards pulled back to within two with 5:03 left, thanks to three straight points from Wilson, but Gordon went on a 7-1 spurt to take an eight-point lead after a Thomas long-range shot and would eventually pull away by hitting 10 of 12 free throws down the stretch.
Eleven of Thomas' 20 points came from the free throw line, with the other nine coming by way of shots from behind the arc. Bajema added 15 points and five rebounds, Miersma had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Empsey had 10 points, three assists, and two steals. Sophomore Jason Dempsey (Wallingford, Conn.) also grabbed 10 rebounds for Gordon, which held a 45-31 advantage on the glass.
Fragnoli led Wentworth with 13 points to go along with seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and two steals. Therriault added a dozen points, eight rebounds, and two steals, while junior Derek Mayo (Casco, Maine) and Wilson had nine and eight points, respectively.
Winners of three straight, Gordon improves to 5-4 overall and picks up its first CCC win (1-2). The Fighting Scots are idle until traveling to Wheelock on January 3. Wentworth falls to 5-3 (2-1) and plays Clark at the New York University Holiday Classic on December 29.