NEW YORK, N.Y. – Junior Derek Mayo (Casco, Maine) scored 13 of his game-high 16 points in the second half to help the Wentworth men's basketball team erase a 12-point deficit early in the second stanza and defeat Widener, 68-63, at the New York University Classic.
The lead changed hands four times in the opening 2:47 with the Pride taking an 8-6 lead on a sophomore Dillon Fields (Medford, N.J.) 3-pointer. That shot began a 10-0 run for Widener, which extended its lead to nine (15-6) on a junior Rodney Brown (Lake Valley, N.J.) basket with 13:47 left.
Five straight points – coming on a senior Colin Johnson (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) 3-pointer and a sophomore Ray Bessette (Dedham, Maine) layup cut the lead to four. However, after a Bessette 3-pointer made it 20-16 with 9:33 left, the Pride went on a 9-2 run to take their largest lead of the half at 29-18.
An 8-0 run – keyed by a 3-pointer from Johnson and five points from sophomore Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.) – cut the lead to three at 29-26 with 3:09 left before Widener closed out the half on a 9-2 run and led by 10 (38-28) at the break. The Pride shot 56.5 percent from the floor in the first half while holding the Leopards to just 33.3 percent and held a 21-12 edge on the glass.
Brown and sophomore Greg Lawson (Mount Holly, N.J.) opened the second half with baskets, with a Wentworth senior Corey Therriault (Auburn, Maine) basket sandwiched between to give the Pride their largest lead of the game at 42-30 with 18:15 left. A 13-2 Wentworth run, which was capped off by a junior Scott Moran (Orange, Conn.) 3-pointer, trimmed the lead to just one with 13:42 remaining.
Brown and Mayo traded baskets to set the score at 46-45 with 11:42 remaining and the Pride scored nine of the next 11 points to push the lead back to 10 with 8:34 left. During the run, freshman David Nicholson (Odenton, Md.) had five points.
Wentworth responded by scoring the next seven points as Johnson drained a 3-pointer and hit a pair of free throws while Donato added two from the charity stripe to make it a three-point game (57-54). Nicholson scored four straight points to put the Pride ahead by seven (61-54) with 5:00 left before two free throws from Mayo and a layup from sophomore John-Michael Fragnoli (Scotia, N.Y.) brought the deficit back to three.
Nicholson put Widener ahead by five (63-58) with 3:44 left, but that would be the last points the Pride would score as the Leopards outscored the Pride, 10-0, over the remainder of the game to take the win. Mayo hit back-to-back jumpers to pull within one before Therriault hit one of two free throws to tie the game. Two more free throws by Mayo with 1:54 left gave the Leopards the lead for good and senior Matt Harte (Troy, N.Y.) and Mayo would combine to hit three of four free throws in the final 20 seconds to seal the win.
In addition to his 16 points, Mayo, who was named to the all-tournament team, had four rebounds, six assists, and four steals. Johnson added 15 points while Donato chipped in with 12. A night after turning the ball over a season-low eight times, the Black & Gold established a new season low with seven turnovers today.
Brown led the Pride with 13 points, followed by a 12-point, six-assist performance from junior Andrew Radomicki (Media, Pa.) and an 11-point performance from Nicholson. Widener shot 55.8 percent from the floor for the game and held Wentworth to 36.7 percent, while owning a 36-27 advantage on the boards.
The wins snaps a two-game losing streak for Wentworth, which improves to 6-4 overall. The Leopards are idle until resuming Commonwealth Coast Conference play on Saturday at Nichols. Widener dropped its fourth straight, falling to 2-9. The Pride is at Swarthmore on Wednesday.