Worcester, MA --- Five Engineers reached double figures in scoring as host WPI knocked down 13-of-19 of its 3-point attempts in a 79-68 victory over nationally-ranked Rhode Island College in a battle of undefeated men's basketball squads on Thursday evening.
WPI, who received votes in the D3hoops.com Top 25, is now 9-0 on the season while the No. 14 Anchormen dip to 7-1 following the non-conference setback.
RIC had its only leads of the game at 3-0 and 5-3 before Aaron Davis' (Marshfield, MA) second trifecta of the game put the hosts ahead for good at 8-5. The Engineers pushed its bulge to as many as 17 (34-17) before a 14-3 Anchormen spurt over the final 3:15 before intermission capped by a Michael Palumbo (Providence, RI) 3-pointer right before the buzzer sliced the lead to 37-31 at the break.
The visitors scored the first four points of the second half, but a quick 9-0 WPI run pushed the advantage back to double digits where it remained until the waning moments. The Anchormen clawed backed to six at 70-64 with 1:12 left but a Zach Karalis (North Andover, MA) triple and a Marco Coppola (Watertown, MA) layup secured the win for the Engineers.
Karalis drained all four of his 3-point attempts en route to pouring in a career-high 19 points. Sam Longwell (Acton, MA) collected 15 points, Coppola added 14 and Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) and Davis each chipped in with 13 and 12 respectively. Davis, Coppola and Longwell all doled out five assists as the Engineers were credited with 21 assists on 27 made baskets.
Kolb paced the Engineers effort on the glass with eight rebounds while Davis, who canned 4-of-5 trifectas, swiped four steals.
Nyheem Sanders (Pawtucket, RI) led Rhode Island College with 18 points, one off his season-high. The junior converted all six of his free throw attempts on the night to go along with a game-best six steals. Steven Roberts (New Haven, CT) and Tom DeCiantis (North Kingstown, RI) both contributed 12 points while Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY) stuffed the stats sheet with nine rebounds, eight points and five assists.
The Anchorman controlled the paint, outrebounding the Engineers 42-28 and outscoring the hosts in the paint 30-16.
Both teams are back in action Saturday. WPI heads to Worcester County foe Fitchburg State for a 3pm contest while Rhode Island College hosts Eastern Connecticut in a rematch of last year's Little East Conference championship game.