Leicester, MA --- Despite not having a single player in double figures, WPI used a balanced attack Friday night to defeat Nichols 73-45 to advance to the championship game of the Worcester County Men's Basketball Classic. With the victory, the Engineers remain undefeated since the tournament resumed in 2003 - a streak of 15 straight games, and will look for their eight straight title Saturday night at 7:30pm versus host Becker.
The Engineers never relinquished their advantage for the entire 40 minutes of the game, holding leads as large as 16 points in the first half. After the Engineers jumped out to a 17-point advantage early in the second half, the Bison tried to answer back when they went on an 8-0 run, capped off by a Steve Galgano (Ansonia, CT) three pointer, cutting the WPI lead down to single digits. After a timeout the Engineers quickly regrouped, going on a 13-1 spurt in the final five minutes to secure the win.
Senior Jeffrey Robinson (Granby, CT) and freshman Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) led WPI with nine points each. Ben Etten (Hollis, NH) and Matt Carr (Somersworth, NH) chipped in with eight apiece while point guard Kyle Nadeau (Webster, MA) doled out a game-best six assists. The Engineers got a big lift from their bench, outscoring its Nichols counterparts by a 39-11 margin. WPI also parlayed 23 Bison turnovers into 23 points on the night.
With the win WPI improves to 2-0 on the season and faces fellow unbeaten Becker (2-0) tomorrow night in the title tilt. The Hawks advanced to the finals with a 63-49 victory over Worcester State earlier on Friday.
Freshman Ryan Sheehan (North Attleboro, MA) scored a game high 17 points in the loss. Sheehan was the only player in the game to score in double figures. Kyle Mascilak (Sparta, NJ) chipped in with eight points. The Bison are now 0-2 on the season and will play Worcester State in the consolation game of the Worcester County Classic at 5:30pm.
Release Courtesy Becker Sports Information