WORCESTER -- Playing its first game of the 2021-22 season as a nationally-ranked team, the WPI men's basketball team opened up NEWMAC play with a 68-52 road victory over Springfield on Wednesday afternoon.
The Engineers, who are ranked 24th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25, have now won a season-best five straight games and move to 9-1 overall and 1-0 in conference action. Springfield slips to 2-8 on the season and 0-1 in NEWMAC contests.
John Lowther (Hingham, MA) led the way offensively for WPI with 19 points and eight rebounds while Kahleb Downing (Middletown, CT) and John Adams (Douglas, MA) both totaled 15 points. Downing accounted for all of his points by draining 5-of-8 3-pointers attempts and Adams corralled 13 rebounds on his way to posting his sixth double-double of the season.
Colin McNamara (Arlington, MA) dished out a career-best eight assists and anchored a defensive effort that limited to Pride to 30.5% shooting from the floor.
Panayiotis Kapanides (Bedford, MA) finished a rebound short of a double-double for Springfield, netting 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Daryl Costa (Providence, RI) had a nice game, doling out a team-high six assists to go along with nine points while Tre Hodge (Springfield, MA) registered eight points and four steals and Curtiss Blische (Barkhamsted, CT) collected eight rebounds and six points.
Playing in their first game since December 11th, the Crimson and Gray found themselves down 6-2 nearly four minutes in before embarking up a 14-0 and never trailing again. Lowther, Aidan Callahan (Rowley, MA) and Brett Marelli (Hampton, NH) Donovan Sevilla (San Ramon, CA) all connected from long range as WPI was a perfect 4-for-4 on 3-pointers during the spurt. The visitors held a 34-14 advantage at the break led by as many as 26 at 52-26 during the middle stages of the second half.
Springfield also played strong defense, holding WPI to under 40% (39.1%) shooting from the floor and only yielding five Engineer free throws on the day. The Engineers held the edge in points off turnovers (20-9), second chance points (17-9) and points in the paint (32-24) while Springfield's bench outscored the Crimson and Gray reserves 23-11.
Both teams return to action on Saturday afternoon. WPI hosts MIT at 2pm in its NEWMAC home opener while Springfield ventures to Babson for a 1pm contest.