BOSTON, Mass. – Freshman Vincent Pace (Bridgewater, N.J.) lead a trio of players in double digits as the Tufts University men’s basketball team won its second straight game with a 58-51 win over Wentworth Institute of Technology in non-conference action at Tansey Gymnasium.
With the win the Jumbos improve to 2-2 on the year while the Leopards fall to 0-4.
After a minute of scoreless action, sophomore Hunter Sabety (Oceanside, N.Y.) was able to draw a foul and sink his first free throw for the game’s first point. At the 14 minute mark, both sides were tied at eight and Wentworth would lead by as many as seven at 11:47, when freshman guard Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) nailed a mid-range jump shot to put the Leopards up 15-8.
Tufts brought the game within three points before senior John-Michael Fragnoli (Scotia, N.Y.) made a pair of free throws to put Wentworth up by five. Neither side could make a basket for three minutes until Pace made a jump shot to cut the lead to 22-19 at 6:01. The Jumbos would tie and take back the lead at 4:48 when junior Stephen Haladyna (South Hamilton, Mass.) made both of his free throws to put the visitors up 23-22. A Fragnoli jump shot put Wentworth back on top until another pair of free throws 20 seconds later placed Tufts ahead of Wentworth. The Jumbos led 28-24 going into the half.
Haladyna opened the second half with a made free throw before the Leopards cut the deficit to three with a one-handed dunk from Fragnoli. A junior Cam Sennick (Wilton, Maine) steal lead to a senior Nico Donato (Glastonbury, Conn.) three-pointer to tie the game at 29. Both teams briefly exchanged leads until Hunter threw down a two-hand jam at 15:51 to lead 35-34. Hunter’s dunk was the start of a 9-0 run that ended at 9:19 with a Fragnoli jumper. Wentworth brought the lead down to five thanks to a Donato steal and fast break layup with a free throw shot after.
Freshman guard Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) brought the deficit down to three (46-43) with a pair of free throws at 7:43. Tufts maintained and extended the lead with an 8-2 run to lead 52-45. Wentworth brought the lead down to as few as five, but the hosts were unable to fuel a comeback as Tufts would make six straight free throws down the stretch.
In addition to Pace’s 12 points, he had seven rebounds and three assists. Sabety had 11 points, eight rebounds, and four steals, while sophomore Tarik Smith (Bronx, N.Y.) had 11 points and three assists. Smith hit 6-of-6 free throws down the stretch to extend the Tufts’ lead.
Fragnoli had a game-high 16 points and five rebounds in the loss while Donato had 15 and three assists and Knollmeyer added 10 points and two assists.
Both teams pick up play on the road Tuesday at 7:00 as Wentworth squares off against Wheelock and Tufts travels to MIT.