WORCESTER -- Obi Obiora (Boston, MA) netted 17 of his career-best 22 points in the first half as WPI cruised to a 89-64 victory over visiting Curry in the opening game of the inaugural Ted Coghlin Memorial Men's Basketball Tournament on Friday evening.
The Engineers (3-0) advance to Saturday's 3pm championship game where they will play the winner of Friday's late contest between Colby and Staten Island. Curry will play Saturday at 1pm in the consolation game.
Trailing 7-5 five minutes in, the hosts embarked upon a 24-7 run to surge ahead 29-14 and would see its advantage slip to single digits only once the rest of the way.
Obiora gave the Crimson and Gray a lift off the bench. The returning NEWMAC Rookie of the Year drained 8-of-9 shots in the opening 20 minutes to highlight a 32-6 edge in bench scoring by the WPI reserves in the first half.
Buoyed by a short jumper and a conventional 3-poiner play from Obiora, the Engineers came out of the locker room after intermission and tallied the first nine points to put the game way.
Dave Zielinski (Shelton, CT) joined Obiora with a career-high in scoring. The sophomore tossed in 11 points, including a trio of trifectas, in just 14 minutes of action. Clyde Niba (Atlanta, GA) and Ian Converse (Woodstock, CT) both added nine points while Shane Farley (Burlington, MA) filled the stat sheets with six points and a game-high five assists. Niba paced the Engineers with seven boards, all off the defensive glass, and Jahshanti Allen (New York, NY) added four assists to go along with four points.
Trey Jones (Mattapan, MA) led the way for Curry with 21 points, including four 3-pointers. Paul Preziosi (Quincy, MA) notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while Tim Flanagan (Providence, RI) canned 12-of-13 free throws en route to netting 14 points.
For the game, the WPI bench outscored its Curry counterparts by a 69-10 margin and harassed the Colonels into 26 miscues while only committing 11 turnovers themselves.
Schettino Fuels Staten Island 29-Point Comeback to Edge Colby in Overtime
WORCESTER – Junior Frank Schettino (Staten Island, NY) poured in 43 points and added nine rebounds as Staten Island overcame a 29 point deficit to defeat Colby, 98-92, in overtime Friday night in the Ted Coghlin Memorial Men's Basketball Tournament at Harrington Auditorium. The Dolphins (2-0) will face host WPI Saturday at 3pm in the tournament title game while the Mules (0-1) will meet Curry in the 1pm consolation contest.
Senior Will Fonseca (Brooklyn, NY) and junior Khaleeq Baum (Brooklyn, NY) scored 19 each as Baum was second on the team with seven boards. Schettino and junior Vincent Dacunto (Staten Island, NY) each came up with a trio of steals. As a team, Staten Island shot 48.6 percent from the field and 57.6 percent from the charity stripe. The Dolphins held advantages in points off turnovers (30-19), second chance points (14-13), points in the paint (46-22), fast break points (18-4) and bench points (25-18).
Four of the five Mules starters reached double-digit scoring with senior Ryan Jann (Westford, MA) leading the way with 24. Senior Sam Willson (Watertown, CT) added 19 as classmates Chris Hudnut (Chevy Chase, MD) pitched in with 14 and Patrick Stewart (Bangor, ME) contributed with 10. Junior Joe Connelly (Brookline, MA) came off the bench to score 11 for Colby. Hudnut was a rebound short of a double-double while the remainder of the starters totaled 19 of the Mules 42 boards. Colby shot 58.3 percent from beyond the arc for the game after coming out firing (78.6 percent) in the first half. The Mules also shot 74.1 percent from the line.
Trailing 62-33 early in the second half, Schettino scored 21 points in a Staten Island 37-8 run to even the game with 6:02 left in regulation. From there, the score was knotted three more times while neither team owned more than a three-point advantage the rest of the scheduled session. It was Schettino who nailed a 3-pointer with less than a minute to play to send the game into overtime tied at 78-78.
Colby took the early lead on a pair of Willson free throws only to have Fonseca even it back up on the ensuing trip down the court. Senior Thomas Delahanty (Staten Island, NY) gave the Dolphins the lead for good on the front end of a pair of freebies. Staten Island slowly built its game-best nine-point advantage with 45 seconds left in the extra frame. Despite a three by Hudnut and Connelly, as well as a free throw by sophomore Kevon Murphy (Brooklyn, NY), the Mules were unable to get back under five the rest of the way.
The Dolphins enjoyed a 15-7 lead following a 3-pointer by Schettino nearly five minutes into the contest. With 11:17 left in the opening frame, Delahanty hit a layup for another eight-point lead. Willson later capped a 14-4 run with a triple to put Colby ahead 23-21 with 8:42 remaining in the half. The Mules went on to outscore their opponents 18-7 over the next 7:31 to take the 51-28 lead following back-to-back threes by Connelly. Baum took advantage of an and-one opportunity to cut the Dolphins deficit to 18 at the break.