WORCESTER -- In a marquee NEWMAC match-up, it was WPI that remained unbeaten in conference play, dispatching visiting Clark, 74-66, on Wednesday night at Harrington Auditorium. The Engineers, ranked #19 in the latest D3hoops.com poll, improve to 13-1 overall, 4-0 in NEWMAC action, while Clark dips to 14-2, 3-2 in conference play.
Leading by three at the half, WPI used a 15-4 run, backed by nine points from John Lowther (Hingham, MA) to take control of the game. Clark, which came into the game as the top-ranked offense in the NEWMAC, made some noise in the final two minutes of play, but it was a wire-to-wire win for WPI for the sixth time this season.
Four Engineers finished in double figures in scoring, led by 16-point efforts from Lowther and Kahleb Downing (Middletown, CT). Downing added seven boards, while Lowther finished with six rebounds and a pair of blocks.
John Adams (Douglas, MA) notched his seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-best 14 boards, while Colin McNamara (Arlington, MA) had 12 points and nine rebounds. Aidan Callahan (Rowley, MA) rounded out the WPI side of the box score with seven points and a game-high six assists.
For Clark, Isaiah Taylor (Lawrence, MA) led all players with 19 points, adding four steals. Bruce Saintilus (Plainville, MA) ended his night with 13 points, while Kyle Jackson (Brooklyn, NY) chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
WPI scored the first five points of the first half and controlled the opening action, going up 16-9 on a McNamara tip-in at the 10:43 mark. Clark got the lead down to two points on a Tyler Davern (Webster, MA) layup, but Downing sparked a 7-0 WPI run that put the hosts up 25-16 with 5:25 to play.
An Adams bucket with 2:02 on the clock had the Engineers up 29-22, but Clark scored six of the final eight points of the frame to close the gap to 31-28 at the half.
An 8-2 WPI surge started the second half for the Engineers, pushing the advantage to 39-30. Clark's Mikey O'Brien (New York, NY) made it a six-point game with 14 minutes to play, but Lowther's hot hand sparked the 15-4 surge that put the Engineers in the drivers' seat, going up 57-40 with under 10 minutes remaining.
Clark whittled the deficit down to 11 points on a pair of Saintilus free throws with 8:43 to play, but three free throws from Downing pushing the lead back to 16 (66-42) with four minutes left.
Clark got hot from three late, but WPI's high powered offense never relented, closing out the the Engineers' 21st straight victory against their crosstown rival.
For the game, WPI out-shot Clark, 47.2% to 28.8% from the field, while also holding a 46-30 advantage on the glass.
Both teams continue NEWMAC play on Saturday. WPI travels to Wheaton for a 1pm tip, while Clark heads to Springfield for a 3pm start.