Worcester, MA --- Freshman Marco Coppola (Watertown, MA) registered a career-best 28 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the floor to propel host WPI to a 86-55 victory over Elms Tuesday evening in a non-conference contest between two squads that participated in last season's NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament. WPI is now 3-0 on the young season while Elms dips to 0-3.
The Engineers started off with a 7-0 lead, capped off by a three-pointer from Coppola with 16:23 remaining in the first period. WPI extended its advantage to ten points when a Matt Carr (Somersworth, NH) put-back two minutes later gave the Engineers a 12-2 edge. A put-back by Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) extended the lead to 16 at 20-4, and the Crimson and Gray never trailed. WPI would go into halftime with a 36-22 lead. Coppola led all scorers in the first half with 14 points. The Engineers outshot the Blazers in the first half, 41 percent against 29 percent, and enjoyed a 27-19 advantage under the boards.
As the second half got under way, WPI soon extended its lead to 18 as Jaime Shannon (Lowell, MA) buried two free throws as the Engineers took a 40-22 advantage. The high-tempo WPI offense kept the pressure on Elms for much of the second period, continually stalling the Blazers momentum.
With 1:35 remaining, Jameel Galloway (Randolph, MA) had a put-back to put the Engineers up by 33 at 83-50.
Behind Coppola, Shannon finished with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists. Carr had a tremendous all-around game, scoring nine points, gobbling up a game-high eight rebounds, dishing out a career-high six assists and swatting away two blocks all in just 20 minutes of playing time. Brown added ten points and five rebounds. Galloway had seven points, four rebounds and a block in just seven minutes.
For Elms, Jamal Hulum (Reston, VA) and Walter Mfuko (Amherst, MA) each had a team-high eight points. Darius Griffin (Winter Haven, FL) finished with six points and five rebounds while Andre French (Torrington, CT) doled out a team-best three assists.
The Crimson and Gray shot 50 percent from the floor and had a 53-30 advantage on the boards.
Both teams are off until after the Thanksgiving holiday. WPI is back on the court on Sunday at 2pm hosting Salem State in a match-up of teams receiving votes in the preseason D3hoops.com Top 25. Elms returns to the floor on Friday, December 2nd versus Westfield State in the Pioneer Valley Classic at Springfield College.
Story written by Mike Rupp - WPI Athletics