Seniors Shine as Men's Basketball Fends Off Clark to Close Regular Season

Matt Harrington

Senior Day Photo Gallery

Worcester, MA --- Seniors Sam Longwell (Acton, MA) and Domenick Mastascusa (North Reading, MA) each tallied 18 points as host WPI held off Clark 61-56 in its regular season finale in Harrington Auditorium on Saturday afternoon. 

The Engineers, 12th in the latest D3hoops Top 25 and sixth in the most recent NCAA Division III New England regional rankings, is now 21-4 on the season and 11-3 in conference play.  The Crimson and Gray garner the second seed in next week's NEWMAC Tournament and face third-seeded Springfield in a semifinal Saturday at 3:30pm at Babson.  Clark sees its season come to an end with a 9-16 overall record and a 4-10 mark in conference games. 

WPI led 37-21 at intermission and, after a Clark layup by Joe Atikinson (Milford, MA) to beat the shot clock buzzer to start the second half, received a 3-pointer by Sean Doncaster (Medford, MA) and a basket in the paint from Obi Obiora (Boston, MA) to up the advantage by 19 points at 42-23.  Clark, at that point needing a win to earn the fifth and final seed in the NEWMAC Tournament, then embarked upon a 27-10 points to get within two at 52-50 with 8:12 to go.  

From there the senior classmates of  Longwell and Mastascusa took over offensively for the Boynton Hillers netting nine of WPI's last 10 points, including six by Mastascusa and three Longwell free throws.  The Engineers ratcheted up the defense down the stretch, holding the Cougars to without a basket from a nearly seven and a half minutes and forcing the visitors to misfire on 10 of their last 11 field goal attempts. 

The combo of Longwell (8) and Mastascusa (7) combined for 15 rebounds on the night while Doncaster amassed eight points and four rebounds to go along with a game-best four assists.  With his 18 points, Longwell jumped two spots on the all-time scoring list to fifth with 1,403 career points.  Also honored in pregame Senior Day festivities was Matt Harrington (Shrewsbury, MA), who nailed a key second half 3-pointer and Wil Michalski (Shrewsbury, MA, who started and provided his usual tough interior defense.    

Clark had a pair of graduate students post memorable outings in their final collegiate contests.  Nicholas Daprato (Marshfield, MA) shared time scoring honors with 16 points while Andrew Musler (Belmont, MA) paced all players with 11 rebounds, including 10 on the defensive glass.  Sophomore David Mercier (Milford, MA) joined Daprato with 16 points and Conor Dow (Needham, MA) and Oliver Samples (Pulaski, VA) also shined while their final college basketball games.     

A photo posted by WPI Athletics (@wpiathletics) on Feb 21, 2015 at 5:31pm PST

 

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