Cambridge, MA --- The No. 22 WPI men's basketball team kept the momentum going with a 66-41 start-to-finish victory over MIT on Wednesday night to remain perfect in February. It marked the ninth wire-to-wire win for the Crimson and Gray this season and third in their last four contests.
WPI, which appears in the initial NCAA Division III Region II rankings that were unveiled on Tuesday, improved to 19-2 overall and continued to hold on to first place in the NEWMAC, picking up its 10th conference victory of the year. The 10 wins mark the second-straight competitive season that the Engineers have hit that mark and the sixth time in the last 10 seasons.
WPI was led by a 19-point, seven rebound effort from John Lowther (Hingham, MA) who also added three assists and three steals. John Adams (Douglas, MA) added 12 points and six rebounds while Colin McNamara (Arlington, MA) finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
MIT (12-9, 5-6 NEWMAC) was paced by a 12 point effort from Giannis Chatziveroglou (Athens, Greece) who also added 11 rebounds in the outing. Ian Hinkley (Raleigh, NC) tacked on nine points and seven rebounds.
WPI started things off on a 15-point run and never looked back with Lowther and Kahleb Downing (Middletown, CT) connecting on back-to-back threes on the team's first two possessions of the game to set the tone. Lowther added a pair of free throws, McNamara added another trey and back-to-back jumpers from Lowther highlighted the opening run that spanned the first seven minutes of action.
The rest of the first half saw back-and-forth action, though WPI headed into the intermission with a 17-point, 31-14 halftime lead thanks to an Aidan Callahan (Rowley, MA) 3-pointer.
The Engineers finished with six 3-pointers, five of which came in the first half of action. MIT connected on four on the night.
WPI continued to build on its lead as the Engineers got out to as much as a 26-point advantage following a Lowther layup with 11:28 remaining in the game, leading MIT 47-21. Charles Rich (Holladay, UT) responded for MIT with a three, and after a three from Hinkley and a layup from Spencer Lin (Menlo Park, CA) MIT was able to cut things to 20 points with nine minutes to go, but never really was able to get any closer as WPI held off MIT en route to the victory.
WPI is back in action on Saturday afternoon when it plays host to Coast Guard at 3pm while MIT returns to action at Wheaton College Saturday at 2pm.