Carr Ignites Men's Basketball to Century Mark in Win Against Fitchburg State

Marco Coppola

Worcester, MA --- Matt Carr (Somersworth, NH) scored a career-high 26 points and pulled down six rebounds to lead WPI to a 100-80 victory over Fitchburg State in non-conference men's basketball action Saturday afternoon at Harrington Auditorium.  The contest was a matchup of 7-1 teams. WPI, ranked No. 15 in the most recent Top 25, rebounded from its first loss of the season to run its record to 8-1 while Fitchburg State falls to 7-2. 

Carr continued his tremendous play, scoring the first five points for the Engineers and helping the hosts take an early 8-2 lead. WPI forced the tempo throughout the first period at both ends of the floor, taking a 32-15 lead off a steal under the basket and a short jumper from Jameel Galloway (Randolph, MA) with 8:39 remaining in the half. The visitors would attempt to rally, embarking on a 9-2 run that was capped off by a three-point basket by Jeremy Kimber (Fitchburg, MA) to cut the WPI advantage to ten. But the fast-paced Engineer offense kept the pressure on Fitchburg throughout the period, as they shot 54 percent from the floor and forced 12 Falcon turnovers. Marco Coppola (Watertown, MA) hit a 3-pointer as time expired to send the Crimson and Gray into halftime with a 49-31 lead. Carr finished the period with 12 points while Mike Ingram-Rubin (Boston, MA) led Fitchburg State with eight points. 

The start of the second half would see a flurry of scoring from both teams as Fitchburg State attempted to assail the WPI lead. An 8-2 Falcon run capped off by two free throws from Zach Valliere (Douglas, MA) cut the Engineer advantage to 58-43 with 14:25 left in the game. But WPI would respond with a key 3-pointer by Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) and baskets by Coppola and Carr keep the Engineers well ahead. Galloway would hit a three with 10:55 remaining to complete a 9-2 run that extended the WPI lead to 74-50, its largest lead of the game. The Falcons attempted to rally again with a 12-4 run completed by a 3-pointer from Tom Henneberry (Lexington, MA), cutting the lead to 78-62 with 7:04 remaining. Free throws trimmed the lead all the way down to 11 before a three and a layup by Carr helped spark a 7-0 WPI spurt to take a 96-78 lead with 2:29 remaining to put the game out of reach.  

Coppola finished with 22 points, five assists and two steals. Jaime Shannon (Lowell, MA) dished out a game-high seven assists along with seven rebounds and five points. David Brown (Lowell, MA) added nine points, four assists and two steals. Domenick Mastascusa (North Reading, MA) came off the bench to score ten points and pull down five rebounds. Galloway was active all over the floor, scoring ten points while tallying five steals, four rebounds and a block. In addition to his scoring and rebounding output, Carr had two steals and a block, all in just 23 minutes of playing time. The Engineers collectively shot 53 percent from the field and 58 percent from behind the arc while outscoring the guests 47-27 in the paint. It was the third time this season that WPI has scored 100 points in a game. 

Brandon Selby (Baltimore, MD) led the Falcons with 17 points and six rebounds. Ingram-Rubin finished with 15 points and six rebounds. Kimber shot six-of-eight from the floor to finish with 13 points while Valliere added ten points and seven rebounds. 20 second-chance points helped keep Fitchburg State competitive for most of the game. 

WPI will return to action after Christmas when they host the Colonials of Western Connecticut on Wednesday, December 28th in a 2:00pm game. Five of WPI's next six games come at home. Fitchburg State is back on the court on Tuesday, January 3rd when they travel to Anna Maria to face the AMCATS. Tipoff will be at 7:30pm. 

Story written by Mike Rupp - WPI Athletics