Salem, MA --- Jeffrey Robinson (Granby, CT) paced four WPI players in double figures with 24 points to lead the Engineers to a 78-62 victory over host Salem State Tuesday evening in the men's basketball season opener for both schools.
The win for the Crimson and Gray snapped a string of five straight contests in the series won by the home team.
WPI, who is receiving votes in the D3hoops.com Top 25, shot a blistering 57.7% from the field in the second half to push a minimal two-point halftime advantage into double digits early in the second half. Junior forward Fernando Perez (Lowell, MA) drained 6-of-7 shots after intermission en route to netting 16 of his 19 points in the second stanza.
The combination of Ben Etten (Hollis, NH) and Matt Carr (Somersworth, NH) aided the Engineer efforts with 12 points each while Carr led all players on the night with seven boards. Robinson and Kyle Nadeau (Webster, MA) combined to dish out nine assists for the visitors, who won their ninth straight season opener.
Brian Clark (Deerfield, MA) registered a team-best 19 points for Salem State. The junior connected on 7-of-14 attempts from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers, and canned all three of his free throw attempts. Brennan Bennett (Northbridge, MA) pitched in with eight points while Dan Clark (Deerfield, MA) added seven points and a team-high six rebounds.
WPI is back in action on Friday when they look to defend its Worcester County Classic title. The Engineers open up play at 5:30pm with an opening round contest versus Nichols at Becker. WPI has won the first seven WCC championships and is 14-0 all-time in the tournament. Salem State is off until next Tuesday, when they travel to North Shore rival Gordon for a 7pm showdown.