Brookline, MA --- No. 13 WPI defeated host Newbury 65-53 in non-conference men's basketball action, Monday evening. Senior forward Sam Longwell (Acton, MA) recorded his fourth career double-double netting a team-high 17 points while surpassing his previous single-game high, registering 13 rebounds in en route to the Engineers seventh victory of the season.
WPI quickly showed why they were one of the top teams in the nation with a 14-2 run to open the contest but Newbury was not going to lie down. Knowing they were not going to get it all back with one shot, the Nighthawks started chipping away at the deficit until they tied up of the contest with just over five minutes remaining in the half.
Freshman guard Jeremiah Ephraim (Norwood, MA) capped off a 16-6 Nighthawk run, connecting with sophomore guard Ceejae Carter (Dorchester, MA) at the perimeter to knot up the contest at 18. Senior guard Mills Carrasco (Haverhill, MA) spun momentum over to the Nighthawk bench, draining a pair of threes with under three minutes to give Newbury the 26-23 as they took the one-point, 28-27 lead into the locker room.
The Engineers came out of the locker room for the start of the second half with renewed energy. Junior guard Zach Karalis (North Andover, MA) ignited an 8-0 run to give WPI the 35-28 lead and forcing fourth year Head Coach Jelani Townsell to call a time-out.
Coming out of the time-out the Nighthawks kept pace with the Engineers cutting the lead down to two four times over the next seven minutes. With just under six minutes to play, Ephraim knocked down a pair of free- throws to cut the Engineer lead to one, 48-47 but that was as close as the Nighthawks were able to get.
For the majority of the game the Nighthawks were able to keep Longwell, WPI's leading scorer averaging 17.6 points entering tonight, in check with a plethora of double-teams as well as outstanding defense by senior forward David Hart (Keene, NH). However, the Acton, Mass. native broke away from his defender to knock down the Engineers lone three-pointer of the game to take a five-point, 56-51 and seal the game for the Engineers.
Carrasco led the Nighthawks with a game-high 19 points while sophomore forward Kenny Ramos (Roxbury, MA) recorded his fourth double-double of the season, tallying 14 points and 11 rebounds. Ephraim tied his single-game high, dishing out a game-high five assists while recording five boards.
Clyde Niba (Atlanta, GA) narrowly missed a double-double of his own for WPI. The junior notched 15 points and eight rebounds. Domenick Mastascusa (North Reading, MA) Karalis tallied 10 and nine points resectively while Chris Rodgers (Franklin, MA) chipped a career-high seven rebounds to go along with six points.
Newbury drops to 1-8 while WPI improves to 7-1. The Nighthawks will be idle until they return break when they travel to Medford, Mass. for a 7pm. tilt against non-conference Tufts University. The Engineers return to the hard-court Friday December 12th when they host MCLA at 7pm in Worcester.
Release Courtesy Newbury Sports Information