WORCESTER -- The #16 WPI men's basketball team won the 2021-22 NEWMAC Regular Season title outright with a 77-69 road win at Clark on Saturday afternoon. The Engineers wrap up the regular season with a 13-1 record in NEWMAC play, going 22-2 overall. Clark ends its regular season campaign at 18-7 overall, 7-7 in conference play.
The regular season title is the first for WPI since 2014, its outright crown since 2013, and the Engineers also nabbed the top seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament. Quarterfinal action begins on Tuesday, as #4 Clark hosts #5 MIT at Clark at 7pm. The winner will play WPI in the semifinals at Harrington Auditorium on Thursday night at 7pm. #2 Babson will host #3 Emerson in the other semifinal on Thursday.
All five WPI starters finished in double figures in scoring, led by a season-high tying 23 points from Colin McNamara (Arlington, MA), who also added eight rebounds and four assists. John Adams (Douglas, MA) notched his 13th double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 boards with four assists and two blocks.
For Clark, Isaiah Taylor (Lawrence, MA) led the Cougars with 18 points off the bench. Tyler Davern (Wester, MA) added 14 and a team-high five rebounds while Bruce Saintilus (Plainville, MA) had 12 points in the loss.
WPI shot a blistering 57.1% from the field in the first half, including connecting on 6-of-11 (54.5%) from long range. Downing opened the game with a triple and the Engineers never trailed, building a 12-point advantage on a Lufkin three with 10:41 to play.
Clark answered with a Biko Gayman (Fort Pierce, FL) three to close the gap to nine points but WPI's offense kept rolling, as an 18-6 run put the Engineers up by 21 (39-18) with 3:45 left in the half. Clark narrowed the advantage at the break, scoring the final seven points of the frame, but WPI still led 39-25.
After an Adams jumper opened the second half for WPI, the Cougars continued to surge, putting together a 12-4 run, capped by a three from Davern that cut the lead to eight with 16 minutes left in the game. WPI countered with nine unanswered points as part of an extended run, pushing the lead to 20 points on a Callahan three with 9:08 on the clock.
The Engineers' offense kept its hot hand, leading by as many as 27 points in the second half, before a furious Clark comeback. With WPI up 74-47, Clark closed the game on a 22-3 run, but the decision was never in doubt, as the Engineers held on for the 77-69 win.