BOSTON, Mass. – A pair of junior Ray Bessette (Dedham, Maine) 3-pointers helped the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team erase a four-point deficit with 8:21 remaining and the Leopards outscored Roger Williams 13-2 over that stretch, en route to a 44-37 win in Commonwealth Coast Conference play.
With the win the leopards improve to 7-6 overall and 4-2 in CCC play, while the Hawks drop their third straight to sit at 2-11 (1-5).
The Leopards came out of the gates, scoring the game's first nine points in the first 2:30 of action as senior Derek Mayo (Casco, Maine) scored five and freshman Jherson Colon (Boston, Mass.) added four.
After four straight points from Roger Williams junior Joseph Henry (Medway, Mass.), Leopard junior John-Michael Fragnoli (Scotia, N.Y.) hit a layup to give the hosts an 11-4 lead. That would be the last basket for either team until junior Ryan Palumbo (Warwick, R.I.) hit a layup with 9:49 left. Palumbo's basket started a 9-1 Roger Williams run, capped off by freshman Chris Bardwell's (North Andover, Mass.) basket with 6:25 left to give the Hawks a 13-12 lead.
Senior Scott Moran (Orange, Conn.) drained a three to give Wentworth a 15-13 lead with 6:06 left, however Palumbo hit two free throws to tie the game at 15-all. After Colon hit a three, Bardwell and Palumbo hit consecutive baskets and senior Will Gerencer (Bowdoin, Maine) hit one of two free throws to give the Hawks a 20-18 lead with 3:40 left.
Bessette tied the game with 2:00 left before freshman Andrew Wasik (Gainesville, Fla.) gave Roger Williams a 22-20 lead with 53 ticks left, a lead they would take into the locker room. Neither team shot well in the first half as Wentworth was 7-for-24 and the Hawks were 9-for25.
Junior Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.) hit a layup in the early stages of the second half to tie the game, however Roger Williams used a 6-0 spurt to take a 28-22 lead with freshman Josh Syska (Peabody, Mass.) scoring four of the six points.
Wentworth would get as close as one on a Colon layup with 10:43 left before a Henry basket and a Wasik free throw upped the lead to 35-31 with 8:21 left. Both teams' offensive woes continued until Bessette drained a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one with 5:53 left and gave the Leopards a 37-35 lead with his second consecutive trifecta with 3:42 to play.
Colon hit a jumper and two free throws to up the lead to six with 1:54 to play before Bardwell cut the lead to four 12 seconds later. One of two free throws by Bessette upped the lead to five, and on Roger Williams' next possession, sophomore Cam Sennick (Wilton, Maine) had a key block that would go out of bounds off a Hawk player, giving the Leopards the ball with 26 seconds left. Bessette hit a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left to seal the win.
Colon led all scorers with 17 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists. Bessette added 13 points – with 11 coming in the second half – and had a game-high 10 rebounds as Wentworth's only other double-digit scorer.
Roger Williams had one player in double figures in scoring as Bardwell had 13 points.
Both teams are in action on Wednesday as Wentworth travels to Western New England and Roger Williams hosts Salve Regina.
WENTWORTH 44, ROGER WILLIAMS 37
ROGER WILLIAMS (2-11, 1-5 CCC)
Chris Bardwell 6-12 1-2 13; Joseph Henry 3-5 0-0 6; Ryan Palumbo 2-11 2-2 6; Andrew Wasik 2-5 1-2 5; Josh Syska 1-4 2-2 4; Will Gerencer 1-7 1-2 3; Tom Carton 0-2 0-0 0; Trevor Fahmy 0-0 0-0 0; Zac Campbell 0-2 0-0 0; Travis Fonseca 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-49 7-10 37.
WENTWORTH (7-6, 4-2 CCC)
Jherson Colon 6-13 4-5 17; Ray Bessette 3-7 5-6 13; Derek Mayo 2-8 0-0 5; John-Michael Fragnoli 1-6 1-2 3; Scott Moran 1-4 0-0 3; Nico Donato 1-4 0-0 2; Cam Sennick 0-1 1-2 1; Ronnie Turner 0-2 0-0 0; Tim Juitt 0-2 0-0 0; Ian Therriault 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 14-49 11-15 44.
Roger Williams................ 22 15 - 37
Wentworth..................... 20 24 - 44
3-point goals--Roger Williams 0-12 (; Andrew Wasik 0-1; Josh Syska 0-2; Will Gerencer 0-5; Tom Carton 0-2; Zac Campbell 0-2), Wentworth 5-17 (Ray Bessette 2-4; Jherson Colon 1-3; Derek Mayo 1-3; Scott Moran 1-2; Ronnie Turner 0-1; Tim Juitt 0-1; Ian Therriault 0-1; Nico Donato 0-2). Fouled out--Roger Williams-Ryan Palumbo, Wentworth-None. Rebounds--Roger Williams 30 (Ryan Palumbo 5), Wentworth 42 (Ray Bessette 10). Assists--Roger Williams 9 (Ryan Palumbo 4), Wentworth 7 (Jherson Colon 3). Total fouls—Roger Williams 14, Wentworth 16. Technical fouls--Roger Williams-None, Wentworth-None. A-160