Leopards defeat Seahawks; Bates joins 1,000-point club

Leopards defeat Seahawks; Bates joins 1,000-point club

BOSTON, Mass. – Junior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) scored 16 points to pace a quartet of players in double figures as the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team defeated Salve Regina, 78-61, in a Commonwealth Coast Conference contest at Tansey Gymnasium Saturday afternoon.

Winners of two straight contests for the first time this season, the Leopards improve to 6-9 overall and even their CCC record at 4-4. The Seahawks dropped their fourth straight contest to stand at 4-10 (2-6).

After falling behind 2-0, Wentworth scored six straight points and took a 6-2 lead on a freshman Matt Vartanian (Salem, N.H.) basket with 17:38 left in the half. Salve Regina cut the lead to one (8-7) on a junior Rodney Morton (Malden, Mass.) three pointer and again on a senior Nicholas Bates (Danvers, Mass.) basket with 14:17 remaining.

The Leopards scored five straight points – two on free throws from freshman Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) and three on a three-point play from senior Dan DeVaux (Wethersfield, Conn.) – and led, 15-9. Morton brought the Seahawks to within three with a layup with 12:37 left, however a 9-0 run which was capped off by a steal and transition basket from junior Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) gave Wentworth a 26-14 lead with 8:43 remaining in the half.

Salve Regina cut the lead to nine (31-22) on a Bates layup but the Black & Gold closed out the half on a 9-3 run and led by 15 (40-25) at the break. Wentworth shot 55.2 percent from the floor in the opening stanza.

Morton opened the second half with a three pointer to trim the lead to a dozen before a 14-5 run extended the lead to 21 after Kizel buried a shot from behind the arc. Midway through the half the Seahawks could cut the lead to 16, however Wentworth extended its lead to as much as 27 after an 11-0 run over a span of less than two minutes and never looked back.

In addition to Ganley's 16 points, Kizel scored 13 points and had six assists and a pair of steals. Vartanian scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds while classmate Stephen Azums was 4-for-5 from the floor for a 10-point effort to go along with six rebounds. Junior Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) scored nine points and had four assists and junior Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) had seven points, six assists, and two steals. Wentworthshot 54.7 percent from the floor for the game and had a 38-21 rebounding advantage.

Morton led three Seahawks in double figures with 18 points to go along with four assists. Bates added 12 points – including becoming the 18th Seahawk to score 1,000 career points with a layup with 9:12 left in the game – and five assists. Junior Richard Pollock (Warwick, R.I.) scored 10 points for Salve Regina.

Both teams are in action on Tuesday as Wentworth is at Gordon and Salve Regina is at Nichols.