Wentworth works overtime to notch third straight win

Stephen Natola led the Seahawks in scoring with 14 points off the bench. (Photo by Mark Brochu '87)
Stephen Natola led the Seahawks in scoring with 14 points off the bench. (Photo by Mark Brochu '87)

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) scored nine of his game and season-high 37 points in overtime as the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team outlasted Salve Regina, 77-72, in a Commonwealth Coast Conference battle Tuesday night at Tansey Gymnasium.

Winners of three straight games, the Leopards improve to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in CCC action while the Seahawks slip to 4-3 (2-1).

Wentworth opened the game on a 15-2 run with sophomore Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) scoring six points and Ganley and classmate Michael Boaheng (Worcester, Mass.) adding four apiece. Salve Regina chipped away and trimmed the lead to three (19-16) on a freshman Stephen Natola (Exeter, N.H.) three pointer with 10:43 remaining. Using a 10-2 run the Leopards upped their lead to 11 with 7:49 left on a Ganley three pointer and a Boaheng jumper four minutes later matched the 11-point margin. The Seahawks pulled within five (34-29) after Natola made one of two free throws, however, a layup from Boaheng with 42 ticks left in the half gave the hosts a seven-point (36-29) cushion at the break.

A three-point play from senior Rodney Morton (Malden, Mass.) with 17:26 left in the second half pulled the visitors within four and two free throws from freshman Kevin Kelly (Valhalla, N.Y.) 1:16 later made it a 43-40 game. Senior Sam Knollmeyer's (Hampton, N.H.) layup gave Wentworth a 47-41 lead with 13:58 left, however, Salve Regina used an 11-2 run over the next five minutes to take their first lead, which came on a Natola three with 8:06 remaining.

The teams battled back and forth and the Seahawks took a 59-56 lead with 4:20 left on a jumper from sophomore Michael McCourt (Lincoln, R.I.). The Leopards countered with a layup from Boaheng and a three from senior Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) to take a 61-59 lead with 2:20 remaining. Two Kelly free throws tied the game before Ganley and Kelly traded baskets to even the score at 63-all with 1:03 left. With 15 seconds left in regulation, Morton missed a jumper. Wentworth got the rebound and set up an inbounds play. However, a turnover gave the Seahawks the ball with 11.9 seconds left. Morton's bid to end the game at the buzzer fell short, sending the game into overtime.

Overtime saw Wentworth outscore Salve Regina, 8-3, over the first 3:04. Kizel hit two free throws to make it a seven-point game with 39 seconds remaining before junior Isiah Bowman (Roxbury, Mass.) hit a three to bring his team within four. Bowman would also hit two free throws with seven seconds left to make it a four-point game, however, one of two free throws from junior Zach Bergeon (Litchfield, N.H.) helped seal the win.

Ganley finished 13-for-20 from the floor and fell two points shy of tying his program record for points in a game. Boaheng finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, and four assists in the win – and also drew a key charge in overtime – while Azums had eight points and seven rebounds and Kizel had seven points, eight rebounds, and four assists. The Leopards shot 52.1 percent from the floor, held the Seahawks to 33.3 percent (including 12.5 percent in overtime), and had a 47-38 edge on the glass.

Four players scored in double figures for Salve Regina, led by Natola who had 14 to go along with seven rebounds. Kelly added 13 points, six rebounds, and three assists, Morton had 12 points and four assists, and sophomore Michael McCourt (Lincoln, R.I.) had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Wentworth is at Emmanuel on Thursday while Salve Regina hosts Worcester State on Saturday.