WORCESTER --- The WPI men's basketball team picked up its 19th-straight opening night victory with an 88-64 victory over Worcester State on Friday night.
The Engineers shot 54.7 percent from the floor in the victory and connected on 14 3-pointers, the most since dropping 16 treys against Clark on Feb. 5, 2019.
The Engineers (1-0) used a 9-0 run over a three-minute span in the middle of the first half to break open the game. John Lowther (Hingham, MA) talled four of the Engineers' nine points during that run, finishing with a game-high 23 points on 66.7 percent shooting while also adding six rebounds and a pair of assists.
That run helped WPI to a 12-point, 36-24 halftime lead.
Worcester State (0-1) had three different double-digit scorers in the loss, paced by Erik Bjorn's (Holden, MA) 15-point, 10 rebound effort. Chris Cardoso (Jamaica Plain, MA) added 11 points and nine rebounds while Ryan Rubeneskas (Bridgewater, MA) finished with 10 points, five rebounds and a pair of assists.
The 9-0 run was the pivotal factor in an otherwise tight first half between the two teams. The run began with a Colin McNamara (Arlington, MA) 3-pointer, the team's second of 14 on the night, which also marked McNamara's fifth, sixth and seventh points of the evening.
Lowther tallied seven of WPI's first nine points of the second half starting off a span of four-straight threes for the Engineers as Lowther, Matt Maguire (Abington, MA), Lowther and Donovan Sevilla (San Ramon, CA) hit them in succession. After a John Adams' (Douglas, MA) layup, Andrew Lufkin (Auburn, NH) joined the three party before Sevilla drained another back-to-back pair to make it a 65-44 ball game with just under 10 minutes left in the second half.
10 of WPIs 21 second-half baskets came from beyond the arc en route to the victory. WPI also took advantage of Worcester State's miscues, recording 24 points off of the Lancers' 15 turnovers.
Adams joined Lowther as Engineer double-digit scorers on the night finishing with the team's first double-double of the year with 12 points and 11 rebounds while also adding a block and pair of steals. McNamara finished with nine points, seven rebounds and three steals. Sevilla connected on all three of his 3-pointers to total nine points and Aidan Callahan (Rowley, MA) paced all players with nine assists.
The Engineers are back in action next Friday, Nov. 12 when they play host to St. Joseph's (ME) in the Ted Coghlin Memorial Tournament hosted by WPI next Friday and Saturday at Harrington Auditorium. The two teams will kick things off at 5:30pm. Worcester State is back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at Western New England at 7:30pm.