BOSTON, Mass. – A three pointer from sophomore Kevin Fernandez (Lawrence, Mass.) with 2:33 left in overtime erased a one-point deficit as the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team (5-1, 1-0 Commonwealth Coast Conference) outlasted the University of New England (4-2, 0-1), 87-83, in the CCC opener for both teams.
Fernandez was one of five Leopards to score in double figures, including senior Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.), who, along with his 18 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and became the program's all-time rebounding leader in the process.
- The University of New England jumped out to a 10-1 lead in the first four minutes of play with senior Jackson McCoy (East Montpelier, Vt.) scoring five of the Nor'Easters first 10 points. Wentworth pulled within one with 11:34 left in the half on a freshman Conor Rubenskas (Bridgewater, Mass.) layup.
- UNE pushed the lead to seven on a free throw and three pointer from sophomore Ray Evans (Troy, N.Y.) sandwiched around a layup from McCoy.
- Four consecutive points, including a steal and fast break layup from Fernandez, with 4:38 left pulled the Black & Gold back within one with 4:38 left and a three pointer from sophomore Noah Bice (Woodacre, Calif.) made it 30-28 with 91 ticks left. The Nor'Easters responded with a layup from McCoy and a three pointer from junior Drake Gavin (Old Lyme, Conn.) to take a 35-28 lead at the half.
- The Nor'Easters maintained the lead throughout the majority of the second half, leading by as many as nine on six occasions, including when junior Avery DeBrito (New Bedford, Mass.) had a steal and a transition layup with 9:15 left. Using a 15-6 run, Wentworth tied the game for the first time since early in the first half when junior Kyle Henseler (Coventry, R.I.) made a layup with 3:14 left.
- After DeBrito hit two free throws to give the visitors the lead back, Azums followed with a layup and, on a put back attempt, junior Trey Carrier (Wilton, N.H.) was fouled and hit both free throws to give Wentworth its first lead of the second half, 68-66, with 1:45 left. McCoy brought the lead to two with a pair of free throws with 48 seconds left and Azums pushed the lead to three when he hit one of two from the stripe with 22 seconds left.
- Out of a time out, Gavin hit a three with 12 seconds left to tie the game. On the ensuing possession, McCoy blocked the Leopards' game-winning shot attempt just before the buzzer, sending the game into overtime.
- Junior Alex Kravchuk (Mansfield, Conn.) made a layup five seconds into overtime and, after Henseler drained a three to give Wentworth a 74-73 lead, hit two free throws which gave the Nor'Easters a 75-74 advantage with 2:55 left.
- Back-to-back three pointers from Fernandez and freshman Tommy Dooling (Mansfield, Mass.) gave the Black & Gold an 80-75 lead with 2:01 left and Wentworth, which extended its lead to as many as nine when Azums hit two free throws with 15 seconds left, picked up its second overtime win of the season. Wentworth shot 71.4 percent from the floor in the extra session.
- Azums recorded his fifth double-double of the season and his record-breaking rebound came with 4:00 left in the first half. Azums broke the mark of 735, which was held by former two-time CCC Player of the Year Sterling Marshall '00.
- Henseler scored 17 points and dished out four assists, Dooling had 12 points, Fernandez scored 11 points and had four assists, and Carrier added 10 points to round out the Leopards' double figure scorers.
- Five players scored in double figures for UNE, including DeBrito who had 19 points to go along with five assists.
- Today marked the 41st all-time meeting between the two programs with Wentworth, which snapped a three-game series losing streak, leading 28-13.
- Wentworth is at Mitchell on Tuesday (November 26) at 6:30 p.m.
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