WORCESTER -- The No. 8 WPI men's basketball team kept its momentum going to begin the 2022-23 season with a 57-39 victory over Rutgers-Newark on Saturday afternoon at Harrington Auditorium.
John Adams (Douglas, MA) paced the way for the Engineers (2-0) with his first double-double of the season with a 14 point, 10 rebound, three steal effort. John Lowther (Hingham, MA) and Donovan Sevilla (San Ramon, CA) each also added double-digit efforts, dropping 10 points apiece.
The Engineers shot 37.7 from the field on the day while also forcing the Scarlet Raiders into 18 turnovers and holding them to a 30.0 percent field goal percentage in this defense-heavy battle. The 18 turnovers resulted in 16 WPI points on the day.
Lowther started things off with a bucket off of the opening possession and after trading a few baskets, WPI went on a 10-0 run, capped by back-to-back Sevilla buckets, while also holding Rutgers-Newark scoreless for eight-and-a-half minutes until Levi Holton (Paterson, NJ) snapped the skid with a layup.
WPI answered with four-straight free throws to make it a 20-7 game with 7:25 left in the first half, prompting a Scarlet Raiders timeout. After WPI earned a 26-9 advantage on a Brett Marelli (Hampton, NH) jumper, Rutgers-Newark rallied of seven-straight points in a 46 second span to cut the WPI lead to 10, but Andrew Lufkin (Auburn, NH) would add a pair of free throws to give WPI a 28-16 edge at halftime.
Back-to-back Adams baskets started the second half and built the WPI lead to 16. Rutgers traded basket for basket over the next 10 minutes, getting to within 13 on an Anees Raheem (Union, NJ) layup with 8:41 remaining, but for every bucket from the Scarlet Raiders, the Engineers were right there with an answer en route to the victory.
Rutgers-Newark was led by a nine point, eight rebound effort from Tony Godwin (North Plainfield, NJ) while Shy'Heed Jenkins-Floyd (Jersey City, NJ) added seven points and six rebounds off of the bench and starters Holton and Russell Ayala (Jersey City, NJ) chipped in six points apiece.
WPI returns to the court with its final game of the three-game, season-opening homestand when they take on Maine-Farmington on Friday, November 18 at 5:30pm while Rutgers-Newark looks to pick up its first win of the season at FDU-Florham on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 7pm.