Wesoloski, Men's Basketball Advance to NEWMAC Finals

Joe Wesoloski

Worcester, MA --- Sophomore Joe Wesoloski (Arlington, MA) posted career-highs of 11 points and eight rebounds to spark top-seeded and host WPI to a hard-earned 62-51 victory over fifth-seeded Coast Guard in a NEWMAC Tournament semifinal contest played on Saturday afternoon. 

With the victory, WPI (22-4) advances to Sunday's championship game versus the winner of Saturday's second contest between second-seeded MIT and third-seeded Springfield.  The Engineers, who will be playing in their sixth title tilt in the last seven years, will be in search of their third overall title and first since 2006.  Coast Guard sees its season end with a record of 11-14.

Jevon James (St. Thomas, VI) pulled the visiting Bears to within two at 48-46 with 6:30 left, but Coast Guard would only score one more hoop the rest of the way, a bucket by James with 19 seconds left. WPI scored six straight to push the lead to 54-46 with 2:37 left and the Engineers were a perfect six-for-six from the foul line in the final 44 seconds to wrap up the game.     

Wesoloski connected on all five of his shots from the floor, including a 3-pointer.  He, along Jerome Stewart (Bloomfield, CT) and Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT), took on an added role when Matt Carr (Somersworth, NH) left midway through the second half with an injury.  The junior center had tallied a team-best 15 points and corralled six boards in 22 minutes of action.

Senior Jeffrey Robinson (Granby, CT) scored all 12 points of his points for the Crimson and Gray in the second half.  Ben Etten (Hollis, NH) added 10 points while Kyle Nadeau (Webster, MA) netted seven points to go along with a game-best six assists.

James and Greg Marshall (Gaitherburg, MD) shared high scoring honors for Coast Guard with 19 points apiece.  The duo combined for 38 of the Bears' 51 points on the day.  James drained 9-of-10 shots from the field and added four rebounds, two assists and a pair of block.  Marshall, who was playing in just his second game in over a month, came off the bench and canned 9-of-14 shots. 

Kevin Sowers (Monrovia, MD) filled the stats sheets with six points, five rebounds and four assists for the CGA, who shot just 1-of-12 from 3-point land and attempts just six free throws.

WPI took its largest lead of the first half on a dunk by Carr with 1:36 left for a 27-21 advantage. Coast Guard's biggest lead of the half was four as James scored the first two baskets of the game and later the Bears used back-to-back buckets from Marshall for a 13-9 edge with 11:07 left in the first half. Carr then scored three straight hoops as WPI regained the lead for good in the first half 15-13 with 8:36 remaining.     

WPI, ranked No. 12 in the most recent D3hoops Top 25 and third in the latest NCAA Division III New England rankings, enjoyed a 43-28 edge on the glass and turned 19 offensive rebounds into a 16-6 edge in second chance points. 

Portions of release courtesy Coast Guard Sports Information