Robinson and Carr Lead Men's Hoops to Rivalry Win Over Clark

Matt Carr

Worcester, MA --- Powered by an explosive offensive performance from senior Jeff Robinson (Granby, CT) and a stifling defensive showing, visiting WPI rolled past host Clark University 60-43, in a hotly-contested New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference men's basketball affair on Wednesday evening. 

The Engineers, who entered the game ranked No. 18 in the most recent national poll, improved to 14-3 overall and 4-0 in league play. They also extended their winning streak to seven games, while Clark remains winless in conference action at 0-4 and 6-11 overall. 

Neither team scored in the game's first five minutes, but after a Mitch Renshaw (Rutland, MA) jumper rolled home and gave the Cougars a 4-2 lead, Clark went the next twelve and a half minutes without a made basket. WPI meanwhile went on a 21-2 run and forced the Cougars to miss 14 consecutive shots and commit nine turnovers. 

When the dust from the first half finally settled, the Engineers were ahead 26-10 and Robinson (11 points) had outscored Clark himself in the opening 20 minutes. 

The Cougars finally put back-to-back baskets together for the first time on the first two possessions of the second half as Jonathan Phillips (Shrewsbury, MA) and D.J. Bailey (Palmer, MA) each scored inside. Those two hoops cut the WPI lead to 12 at 26-14, but Clark would get no closer as Robinson scored 12 straight Engineer points that featured a spinning interior finish and a pair of long three pointers. 

Led by junior Matt Carr (Somersworth, NH), WPI controlled the glass, outrebounding Clark 48-35 and held a 24-9 edge in second chance points. 

After shooting 12 percent in the first 20 minutes, the Cougars connected on 40 percent of their second half attempts to finish at a season-low 27 percent from the field (14-for-52). 

Clark uncharacteristically struggled from the charity stripe as well, going just 12-for-23, while the Engineers went 12-for-14. 

Robinson, who scored a season-best 29 points in WPI's win over Coast Guard on Saturday, finished with a game-high 27 points (10-for-21) and seven rebounds in 30 minutes. Carr, meanwhile, registered his fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 15 rebounds. 

The Cougars were paced by Brian Vayda (Sturbridge, MA) who totaled 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals. While no other Clark player reached double figures, Drew Billington (Fairfield, CT) added nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 25 minutes. 

Both teams are back in action on Saturday with Clark hosting Babson at 3pm and WPI welcoming Springfield to Harrington Auditorium for a 2pm tipoff.

Release Courtesy Clark Sports Information