Niba's First Half Eruption Sparks No. 14 Men's Basketball Over Wheaton 79-57

Clyde Niba

Norton, MA --- Clyde Niba (Atlanta, GA) totaled 22 of his game-high 28 points in the first half as WPI cruised to a 79-57 road win versus Wheaton in NEWMAC men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon. 

The Engineers, who are ranked 14th according to the latest D3hoops.com Top-25 poll, improve to 15-2 overall and 5-1 in the NEWMAC while the Lyons fall to 8-8 on the season and 2-4 in conference action.

The Crimson and Gray captured the lead right out the gate and never looked back, picking up an early 8-0 advantage courtesy of baskets by Niba. Ryan Fogerty (Walpole, MA) pulled Wheaton within five points, 10-5, with 15:35 on the clock after draining a long range three and back-to-back free-throws.

WPI responded with an 11-0 run that pushed their lead to 16 points and led by as many as 22 at 29-7 just 11:30 in the contest.  Defense was the key for the guests, as they forced the Lyons to misfire on 10 of their first 11 field goal tries and caused seven turnovers during the span. WPI kept its foot on the accelerator, taking a 45-19 lead into halftime. 

The second half was a competitive back and forth but unfortunately for the home team the deficit was too large to overcome. The closest that Wheaton would get to WPI was 69-49 with 4:40 to go after a Liam Bruno (Winthrop, MA) free-throw.

Niba led all players with 28 points after shooting 11-18 from the floor, which included a 3-5 performance from three-point range. He also ended the game 3-4 from the charity stripe. Obi Obiora (Boston, MA) ended the contest with 12 points while Sean Doncaster (Medford, MA) netted eight and Jamani Spencer (Closter, NJ ) seven. Ian Converse (Woodstock, CT) paced the Engineers with nine boards, while Doncaster and Aaron Davis (Marshfield, MA) picked up a game-high four steals. 

Fogarty led the way for Wheaton with 21 points on a 7-12 night from the floor and 6-9 performance from the free-throw line.  The sophomore also led the team in rebounds with seven. Quinton Dale (Winthrop, MA) netted 10 points and pulled down six boards for the Lyons, while Bruno scored seven points. 

Both teams are back in action with road NEWMAC contests on Wednesday.  WPI ventures to Coast Guard at 5:30pm while Wheaton is at MIT at 6pm. 

Majority of Release Courtesy Wheaton Sports Information

 

A photo posted by WPI Athletics (@wpiathletics) on Jan 23, 2016 at 2:20pm PST