NEWPORT, R.I. – With four seconds remaining in regulation, senior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) drained a three-pointer to lift the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team over Salve Regina, 53-50, in a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) matchup Saturday afternoon at the Rogers Recreation Center.
The Leopards run their win streak to three, as they close a three-game road skid and improve to 12-5 overall and 7-3 in the CCC. The Seahawks drop their sixth straight, and fall to 6-11 this season and 3-7 in conference contests.
Ganley scored seven consecutive points to give the Leopards a 7-2 lead early in the first half, before a trey from Salve senior Rodney Morton (Malden, Mass.) and two freebies from sophomore Andrew Bronstein (Needham, Mass.) answered a Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) jumper to pull the hosts within one, 9-8. Both teams battled back and forth, neither able to gain a substantial lead, before the Leopards turned a 7-0 run to gain a 22-13 advantage with 8:34 to go before the break. Senior Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) and Salve junior Isaiah Bowman (Roxbury, Mass.) traded back-to-back treys with Wentworth still holding a comfortable 25-18 point lead, but hot shooting from beyond the arc pulled Salve within four, 27-23, at 1:52 off the hands of Morton. Freshman Kevin Kelly (Valhalla, N.Y.) shrunk the deficit even smaller to a two-point margin with 41 seconds left, as Wentworth held a 27-25 advantage heading into halftime.
A layup from freshman Thor Brochu (North Kingstown, R.I.) 2:17 into the second half ignited a 6-0 run for the home team to give Salve its first lead of the game, 31-27, to force a Wentworth timeout. The Leopards reset and turned a 6-2 run of their own, as senior Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) knocked two down at the line to knot the score 33-33. Wentworth pulled away over a three-minute span, leading the Seahawks 43-35 following two free throws from senior Michael Boaheng (Worcester, Mass.). The Seahawks were down but not out, as Bronstein and Morton bucketed a three-pointer apiece in the early stages of an 11-3 run to deadlock the score 46-46 with 1:39 left in regulation.
With 14 seconds to go, Bronstein drove to the paint and tied the game 50-50, as Wentworth took a full timeout to construct its last play of the game. Senior Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) dished the ball over to Ganley as four seconds remained on the clock, when Ganley canned the game-winner and sent the Leopards back to Boston with the 53-50 victory.
Ganley paced the Leopard offense with 17 points, while Fulcar followed with nine points, six rebounds, and two steals. Knollmeyer and Azums finished with eight and seven points, respectively.
Morton added 17 points in the setback, including nine from three-point territory, while Bronstein finished with 12 points. Freshman Cameron Collins (Oakdale, Conn.) rounded out double-digit scoring for Salve with 11 points.
The Leopards look to carry their momentum into their next contest on Wednesday, January 24 when they host Curry College at 7:30 p.m.
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