NEW LONDON, Conn. – Sophomore Dan Draffan (Hamden, Conn.) registered a double-double, but it wasn't enough, as the Connecticut College men's basketball team fell to Wentworth in its season opener on Saturday evening as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tip-Off Classic on the campus of Coast Guard.
Draffan converted a layup to make it 54-52 with 7:32 remaining, and the Camels appeared to be destined to win their first game of the winter when the sophomore dunked a pass from senior captain David Labossiere (Stoneham, Mass.) to move ahead by a 64-61 score with 2:34 left. However, Wentworth fought back and tied the score at 64s when Stephen Azums drove in for a layup at the 1:44 mark.
Both teams attempted to seize the lead in the final minute and missed a 3-point field goal down the stretch. The Leopards, however, were able to get a clutch trifecta from Kyle Henseler with three seconds left for the game-winning basket.
Wentworth (1-2) jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the opening five minutes before the Camels were able to get going. The margin grew to 12 at 20-8 when Luca Mirabello nailed a jumper, but Connecticut College stormed back and made it a one-possession game courtesy of a free throw by senior Phil Leotsakos (Arlington, Mass.) which created a 26-23 score with 56 seconds on the clock.
Trailing by four at recess, the Camels continued to chip away at the deficit and eventually took their first lead of the game when Labossiere sank a pair of free throws to make it 36-35 with 16 minutes left and begin a seesaw affair. But after 12 ties and six lead changes, the Leopards would ultimately prevail thanks to Henseler's clutch shot from long distance in the waning seconds.
Draffan paced the Camels by pouring in 18 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking two shots. Labossiere finished with 19 points and eight boards, while freshman Ryan Omslaer (Jackson, N.J.) finished with nine points and five rebounds in his collegiate debut.
Connecticut College (1-0) wraps up tournament action when it hosts Medgar Evers tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m.