BRISTOL, R.I. – The Roger Williams University Men’s Basketball team handed Wentworth Institute of Technology its first Commonwealth Coast Conference loss of the 2014-15 season with a 52-47 win Saturday afternoon.
Roger Williams snaps a three-game skid and improves to .500 in conference play at 3-3 and 5-8 overall. Wentworth drops its first contest of 2015 and falls to 6-6 overall and 4-1 in the CCC.
Wentworth held the advantage early on, beginning the game with back-to-back layups by John-Michael Fragnoli (Schenectady, N.Y.) and Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.). RWU later earned its first lead of the game on a three-pointer by Conor O’Brien (Sharon, Mass.) to go up 7-5. Yet the Leopards went back on top 11-9 on a jumper by Ray Bessette (Dedham, Maine).
Wentworth would maintain the advantage for the remainder of the half, with a trey by Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) at the 7:06 mark putting them up 21-13 for their largest lead of the game. The Hawks pulled within three but ultimately would go into the half down by six (20-26).
Early in the second half, the Leopards continued to keep the Hawks at bay. Wentworth managed to take its largest lead of the game with 10:24 to play, as Fulcar drained another three to give the Leopards an 11-point lead (38-27).
However, the Hawks stormed back with seven straight points by Josh Syska (Peabody, Mass.) and Conor O’Brien (Sharon, Mass.). The Hawks pulled within one on two Andrew Wasik (Gainesville, Fla.) free throws, then took the lead on a layup by O’Brien, going up 43-42 with 4:40 to play.
Syska hit a key three-pointer with 2:49 to play to put RWU up by four. Wentworth would miss three shots and commit an offensive foul on its following four possessions, allowing RWU to keep its four-point advantage going into the final minute. Wasik and Palumbo each sank a pair of free throws to build the lead for RWU, as the Hawks held on for the win.
O’Brien led RWU with 14 points, while Syska added 12 points and eight rebounds. Palumbo finished with eight points, six boards, and four assists, while Jaylen Jennings (Norwalk, Conn.) contributed seven points and six boards off the bench.
Fulcar led the Leopards with 13 points in addition to two steals. Fragnoli finished with ten points, while Ian Therriault (Auburn, Maine) added three points and eight boards.
On Tuesday, Roger Williams travels to Curry, while Wentworth hosts Western New England.