Worcester State Defeated by Wheaton College, Lose 7th consecutive game

Posted on February 3, 2012 by


Ryan Kuketz

WORCESTER- The Worcester State University men’s basketball team lost to Wheaton College Thursday night in the Lancer gymnasium, 64-57, after senior Brendan Dengen scored a 3-pointer to put Wheaton on top for good with 2 minutes left in the game.

Robert Hunter led the game with 14 points and 15 rebounds which resulted in his 13th double-double in the last 21 games as Mike Gittens scored 13 for Worcester State and Frank Stephenson scored 11 points. Brendan Degnan led Wheaton with 13 points while Worcester native Eddie Capstick scored 12 points with 7 rebounds.

Worcester State (6-15) clawed its way back into the game after starting slow in the first half and took a 55-53 lead with 2:50 to play when Hunter scored a basket on a put back shot. Wheaton wasted little time as senior Anthony Weeks made a layup less than 20 seconds later to tie the game.

“I just didn’t want to be denied” said Hunter about his basket that gave Worcester State the lead. “I wanted to score that basket.”

Worcester State freshman Charles Gunter missed a jumper with a little over two minutes to play and Wheaton got control of a rebound to set up the winning shot by Dengen. With 1:44 left Monte Goodwin made a layup while drawing a foul but missed the ensuing free throw keeping Wheaton up by a point. Capstick then made a layup putting Wheaton back up by three and solidifying the victory and ending a five game losing streak.

“We got to play hard” said Goodwin. “We just got to go out there and play hard you know. Keep our foot on the gas pedal. That’s all we can do.”

The game started 15 minutes later than scheduled after Wheaton’s team bus broke down on the highway on the way to Worcester State. Despite the delay Wheaton (8-10) started fast as they used a 10-0 run in the first half to take a 13 point lead into halftime. Capstick, a Worcester Academy alum, who averaged 4.9 points a game for Wheaton scored 8 of his 12 points in the first half, four of which during Wheaton’s 10-0 run

“I thought we didn’t play well in the first half” said Worcester State coach David Lindberg. “I thought we played harder in the second-half especially in the backboards.”

After being out-rebounded 24-17 in the first half, Worcester State out-rebounded Wheaton 19-18 and had 5 more offensive boards than Wheaton. WSU only shot 29% from the field in the first half compared to Wheaton’s 48.4% in the first half.

“I thought we did a good job offensively in the first half, we just didn’t make shots. I thought we moved the ball well” said Lindberg.

Stephenson who averages 14.7 points a game for Worcester State started the game slow shooting 0-5 from the field in the first half. Despite starting the game poorly Stephenson shot 50% in the second half, scoring 11 points to help Worcester State get back into the game.

“We learned that we need to play harder from the beginning of the game if we expect to win games, win this conference, win this league and we showed we can do it” said Stephenson. “That’s the positive we’re going to take out of this.”

Worcester State is no stranger to being down early in the game and rallying back. Last week the team battled back from a 17 point deficit against Anna Maria but like Thursday’s game they fell short.

“In the second-half we actually played harder and we were going at guys, boxing out. The first half we kind of let the game come to us. We didn’t play aggressive or hard enough” said Stephenson.

Worcester State is now 3-2 all time against Wheaton College and has lost the last seven consecutive games.

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