BOSTON, Mass. - The Curry College men's basketball team suffered a setback to the Wentworth Institute of Technology Leopards on Saturday afternoon, falling to their Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) foe 80-62. The loss drops the Colonels to 1-22 on the year with an 0-14 mark in league play, while the win improves Wentworth's overall record to 8-15, while they sit at 5-9 in the CCC.
Wentworth set the tone early, winning the tip and putting home an uncontested basket to start the scoring. Curry had an answer though, as Spencer Feng (Keene, N.H.) found junior Jared Thorpe-Johnson (Dorchester, Mass.) for a three and the lead at 3-2. A triple by Gavin Keough (Dunstable, Mass.) pushed the edge back to the hosts, but Thorpe-Johnson continued his tear with another pair of buckets, accounting for the first eight Curry points, before RJ Hadfield ()Warwick, R.I.) found the bucket from distance to give Curry an 11-5 lead just two and a half minutes into the game. A pair of scores from Keough and Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) pulled the Leopards to within one, but Curry followed with another triple from Thorpe-Johnson and a massive fast break dunk from junior Dwayne Boothe (Jamaica, N.Y.), forcing a Wentworth timeout. Down once again by six, the Leopards clawed their way back into the match up, jumping on a 10-4 run to knot it up at 20. A layup from forward Matt Vartanian (Salem, N.H.) gave Wentworth their first lead since the first 1:15 of the contest, but a triple from Alex Stein (Mount Olive, N.J.) on the following possession gave the edge right back to Curry with 10:42 left to play in the half.
The Colonels cooled off over the next few minutes, allowing the Leopards to build a four point lead. Curry would get back to within one, however, after Thorpe-Johnson flawlessly hit a long three at the top of the arc, collecting his 16th point of the day and eclipsing 1,000 points over his collegiate career as a Colonel. After a Curry timeout, called to honor the junior's accomplishment, the Leopards got right back to work, seeing buckets fall for Keough, Azums, Joseph Hecker (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), and senior Zach Bergeon (Litchfield, N.H.) to stretch their lead to 10 at 36-26. The teams would trade buckets over the last four minutes of the first half, but Wentworth retained a 10 point lead heading into the break at 42-32.
The Leopards started the second stanza with the ball and made it count, as Noah Bice (Woodacre, Calif.) found Azums underneath for an easy layup. Keough drove home another layup for the hosts on their following possession, but a put-back from Boothe on the other end brought the Colonels back to within 12 at 46-34. Wentworth benefitted from a time-consuming possession thanks to four consecutive offensive rebounds, but came up scoreless after a steal by Boothe sent the ball the other way. Curry struggled to string together quality offensive possessions and a 2nd chance triple from Kyle Henseler (Coventry, R.I.) extended the Wentworth lead to 19 at 60-41. This advantage would stretch quickly to 23, as a layup by Trey Carrier (Wilton, N.H.) made the score 66-43 just two minutes later. The Leopards' lead would get as large as 24 before a brief Curry run brought the deficit back to 16, highlighted by another triple by Thorpe-Johnson. Despite having some momentum on their side and deploying a full court press, the Colonels simply did not have the weapons to come back in this match up, as Wentworth turned it around a broke off a 9-2 run of their own to reinstate a 23 point lead. The final few minutes of the contest were muddied by fouls, but the Leopards lead was never put into doubt, as the time expired with a score reading 80-62, Wentworth.
The hosts controlled the boards, registering 14 second chance points to Curry's seven, while also outscoring the visitors 40-28 in the paint. A big piece of that success underneath was Azums, who collected 14 rebounds and 16 points to register a double-double. Henseler (22), Keough (19), and Vartanian (10) also recorded double digit scoring efforts for the Leopards, while Bergeon put up six points and six rebounds on his Senior Night. Vartanian led the team with five helpers. For the Colonels, Stein posted eight boards and three assists, while Boothe put up an impressive defensive game with a block and a pair of steals. Kieran Carroll (Greenwich, Conn.) put up 11 points in the contest, but the game-high was posted by Thorpe-Johnson, who posted 26 total points on his milestone night, which included five triples.
Curry will play next on Wednesday, February 13 at 7:30 p.m. at home against Roger Williams College as they continue their CCC schedule as the Colonels seek revenge after suffering through a 88-53 loss to the Hawks on January 8. Wenworth will also continue league play as they host the University of New England Nor'easters, also on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., as they look to top UNE after dropping their first tilt 125-109 on December 4.