Wentworth Overcomes Second Half Deficit to Top Golden Bears, 89-81

Sophomore forward Zach Tavitian scored 19 points in Western New England's 89-81 loss to Wentworth on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Sophomore forward Zach Tavitian scored 19 points in Western New England's 89-81 loss to Wentworth on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Pettway & Tavitian pace WNE with 19 points each

BOSTON, Mass. (December 1, 2018) – The Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team overcame a 16-point second half deficit to claim an 89-81 win over Western New England University on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at Tansey Gymnasium.  

Top Performers
Senior guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) and sophomore forward Zachary Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) fueled the Golden Bears offensively with 19 points each. Tavitian made 7-of-10 field goals, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, while Pettway recorded seven assists, two rebounds and two steals.

Junior guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) chipped in with 13 points, and freshman guard Antonio Brancato (Fairfield, Conn.) added ten points with a team-high six boards in 25 minutes off the bench.

Wentworth sophomore guard Gavin Keough (Dunstable, Mass.) provided a spark off the bench for the Leopards with a game-high 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field (5-of-8 from three-point range) and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.

Junior forward Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) paced Wentworth's starting unit with 18 points, eight rebounds, one steal, one assist and one block in 25 minutes of action.

Game Review
Wentworth scored the first nine points of the game, before Western New England responded with an 11-0 run that culminated in a Tavitian three-pointer that gave the Golden Bears their first lead with 14:35 left in the half.

Five straight points from Brancato later in the half gave Western New England its largest lead of the frame (29-22) with 7:23 to play, but the Leopards surged back ahead with a 9-0 run to claim a 31-29 edge. The home team would hold a three-point lead (37-34) at the break.

After posting a 6-0 run to start the second half, the Golden Bears continued to add to their lead, which grew as large as 16 (60-44) following back-to-back triples by Tavitian just over six minutes into the frame.

Western New England still held a 12-point cushion (67-55) midway through the half, but Wentworth began to slowly chip away at its deficit.

The Leopards closed to within five (69-64) on a Joseph Hecker (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) three-pointer at the 7:07 mark, before a Keough triple with 5:37 to play made it a two-point game (71-69).

The home team took the lead for good (74-73) on a pair of Kyle Henseler (Coventry, R.I.) free throws with just under four minutes remaining, and senior Zach Bergeon (Litchfield, N.H.) completed a traditional three-point play with 1:28 to play to push Wentworth's lead to four (79-75).

Leading by the same score with less than a minute on the clock, the Leopards all but secured the win when Azums missed a layup, before junior Ellis Christmas (Elmsford, N.Y.) grabbed an offensive board and found Henseler for a three-pointer. Wentworth sealed the contest with seven made free throws over the final 32 seconds.

Notes
• The Leopards outrebounded the Golden Bears 40-32.
• Wentworth's bench outscored the Western New England reserves 35-17.

Up Next
Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday, as Western New England (2-5, 0-2 CCC) travels to Gordon and Wentworth (2-4, 1-1 CCC) plays at UNE.