#16 Men’s Basketball Clinches NEWMAC Top Seed with Win over Wheaton

Senior Day - WPI Men's Basketball 2022

WORCESTER -- The nationally-ranked WPI men's basketball team clinched the top seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament, as well as at least a share of the league's regular season title with a 76-62 win over Wheaton on Wednesday night at Harrington Auditorium. 

The Engineers, ranked 16th in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 and first in the most recent NCAA Division III Region II rankings, improve to 21-2 overall, 12-1 in NEWMAC play, while Wheaton dips to 8-16, 3-10 in the conference. 

WPI led from start to finish for the 10th occasion this season, earning a share of the conference title for the first time since 2014. John Adams (Douglas, MA) stuffed his stat sheet with team-highs of 18 points, nine rebounds, and five assists, the second straight game that he's led the Engineers in all three categories. Andrew Lufkin (Auburn, NH) tallied 17 points and six boards, while Colin McNamara (Arlington, MA) had 14 points and five rebounds. Logan O'Donnell (Fishkill, NY) was the fourth Engineer in double figures in scoring, finishing with 12 points and adding six rebounds. 

Prior to game, senior O'Donnell and graduate students Kahleb Downing (Middletown, CT) and McNamara were honored as part of Senior Night festivities. 

Wheaton's Ty Murphy (Dedham, MA) led all scorers with 20 points, connecting on 5-of-8 from long range. Evan Cook (Dunstable, MA) finished with 12 points and Aaron Williams (Springfield, MA) chipped in with 10 for the Lyons. 

The Engineers came out of the gates on fire, opening the action on a 22-3 run to build a 19-point advantage after 12 minutes of play. Wheaton answered with a 14-4 run that narrowed the gap to just nine points on an Owen Kibbe (Carver, MA) free throw. The Engineers rebounded however and closed the half on an 8-2 surge to lead by 15 (36-21) at the break.   

Wheaton had the early edge in the second half, cutting the lead to 42-31 after four minutes of action. Four points from O'Donnell and a three from Lufkin increased the WPI advantage back to 18 points. 

WPI pushed the lead to 19 points with 7:59 left to play, before Wheaton rallied one final time, cutting it to 70-60 with 2:18 on the clock. The final Lyon surge was too little too late though, as WPI got a pair of late threes from Lufkin to seal the 14 point win. 

WPI can earn the conference title outright in the final weekend of the regular season, traveling to Clark for a 3pm tip. The Engineers will then begin play in the NEWMAC Tournament with a semifinal game at home on Thursday February 24, against either Clark or MIT. Wheaton wraps up the 2021-22 season at Emerson on Saturday at 2pm.