WORCESTER --- Thanks to yet another career-night for Jake Wisniewski (W. Brookfield, MA), the WPI men's basketball team came away with a 86-73 victory over Wheaton Saturday afternoon. Wisniewski finished with a double-double - the sixth of his career - putting up 23 points and 13 rebounds while also adding four assists on the day.
With the victory, WPI improved to 15-4 overall and 6-2 in NEWMAC action while Wheaton dropped to 5-13 on the year and is still winless in conference play (0-8).
A squad of WPI players finished in double figures, led by Wisniewski, while Reid Walker (Tampa, FL) chipped in 14 points, six rebounds and six assists, Jake Needleman (Morganville, NJ) added 11 and John Lowther (Hingham, MA) also contributed a double-double in the outing with an 11-point, 10-rebound effort, his second career double-double.
WPI shot over 50 percent from the field on the day (50.8 percent) to Wheaton's 25-of-57 (43.9 percent) effort. From deep, the Lyons connected for eight threes on the day, while WPI hit six. The Engineers got the best of Wheaton on the glass out rebounding the Lyons 42-31 on the day.
The win improves WPI to second in the NEWMAC standings, alongside Babson. The Engineers, who are receiving votes (42) in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25 are now 15-4 overall and 6-2 in conference action.
Wheaton was led by Evan Cook (Dunstable, MA) who finished with 14 points while Noah Sochaczevski (Westmount, QC) added 12 points and Aaron Williams (Springfield, MA) finished with 10.
After jumping out to a quick lead thanks to a pair of threes to start off the contest, Wheaton battled back into the game and kept it close as the two teams traded possessions for the first half of the first half of action.
Following a three-minute stretch where neither team was able to find the bottom of the bucket, an Ethan Harrell (Wexford, PA) 3-pointer broke the scoreless streak and boosted WPI's lead to eight, a lead that one-possession later would become 11 following a Needleman three. A lead that they would maintain heading into halftime, 42-31.
Wheaton evened the score at 57-all, nine minutes into the second half after a Marckenley Lima (Roslindale, MA) 3-pointer, but WPI was unrelenting and slowly built their lead back up to double digits, ultimately earning a 13-point edge, 82-69, with just over two minutes to go en route to the victory.
WPI continues its homestead on Wednesday Feb. 5 when they play host to crosstown rival Clark at 5:30pm. Wheaton will continue NEWMAC play when they return home to face Emerson on Wednesday night at 7pm.