NEWPORT, R.I. - After shooting a blistering 60.9 percent from the field in the first half, Salve Regina University men's basketball went cold in the second as visiting Wentworth Institute of Technology capitalized for a 68-51 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) victory at the Rodgers Recreation Center.
Salve Regina (11-11; 7-8 CCC) opened the contest with a 14-5 advantage over the first nine-plus minutes. Junior Joshua Hohlfelder (Noank, Conn.) made three baskets, all layups, during that stretch while senior William Smiley (Saunderstown, R.I.) scored five points including an old-fashioned three-point play.
Wentworth (15-7; 11-4 CCC) enjoyed a 13-2 run to take its first lead at 8:01 in the first, 18-16. Senior Colin Johnson (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) started the run with a 3-pointer at 10:25. Classmate Matt Harte (Troy, N.Y.) and junior Derek Mayo (Casco, Maine) both had a pair of layups during the run.
Junior Patrick Dinneen (Medfield, Mass.), who entered at 15:33, scored his first points during a 6-0 between 7:41 and 6:44. His layup at 6:44 followed his own steal and gave the Seahawks a four-point edge, 22-18. Dinneen finished the first half as the leading scorer with 11 points; Hohlfelder was next with 10 points as Salve Regina went into the break up five, 33-28.
Mayo and Co. held the Seahawks to their lowest second half output (18 points) of the season, which also matched the lowest single-half output in any game this year (18 points in first half at Eastern Nazarene - 1/8/13).
Sophomore Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.) had two baskets during a 10-0 Leopard run in the opening two minutes of the second half to put the visitors up by five, 38-33. Two Hohlfelder layups and a pair of free throws for Dinneen got the Seahawks within one point, 40-39, before Wentworth went on an 11-1 run to open up a double-digit lead.
Isiah Pringle's (Queens, N.Y.) free throws and a two-point jumper sandwiched around a Corey Therriault (Auburn, Maine) layup cut the deficit below 10 (53-44 with 8:29 remaining). But Therriault's 3-pointer at 7:58 kept the margin in double-figures the rest of the way.
Salve Regina made only six of 27 from the floor in the second half (22.2%) including 0-for-11 behind the arc. Wentworth made 16-of-28 (57.1%) in the second to outscore the Seahawks, 40-18. The final margin was 17 points which is the same in the points off turnovers category - Leopards 25, Seahawks eight.
Johnson and John-Michael Fragnoli (Scotia, N.Y.) led the Leopards with 14 points apiece. Hart added 11 and Therriault chipped in 10. Dinneen's 15 points led all players, Hohlfelder also had 14 points for Salve Regina. Jeff Bielefeld (Littleton, Mass.) had a game-high nine rebounds, eight caroms in the first 20 minutes.
Salve Regina travels to Gordon College on Saturday (weather permitting) while Wentworth welcomes Roger Williams University to Boston.
(Recap Courtesy of Salve Regina Sports Information)