WORCESTER -- John Lowther (Hingham, MA) registered 14 of his game-high 18 points in the first half and WPI held Springfield without a field goal for the final 7:26 of the opening stanza as the Engineers bested the visiting Pride 76-48 Wednesday evening in the NEWMAC men's basketball opener for both squads.
WPI, ranked No. 16 in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25, is now 9-2 on the season and 1-0 in conference play while Springfield falls to 3-9 overall and 0-1 in NEWMAC action.
The early portion of the game was a nip-and-tuck affair featuring five ties and six lead changes, including Springfield's last advantage of the night when Zeke Blauner (Dobbs Ferry, NY) drilled a 3-pointer to put SC ahead 18-17 with 7:26 to go before intermission. The hosts then seized control of the contest by scoring 20 of the half's last 22 points, including the final 15 to hold a 37-20 halftime advantage. The Engineers defense took center stage, holding the guests scoreless on 14 straight possessions - 0-for-11 shooting from the floor and five turnovers during the run - with Springfield only mustering a pair of free throws following a technical foul on the Crimson and Gray.
In addition to his 18 points, which included a pair of 3-pointers, Lowther hauled in six rebounds, swiped four steals, doled out three assists and recorded a pair of blocks.
Three other players reached double figures in scoring for the Boynton Hillers. Donovan Sevilla (San Ramon, CA) netted 10 of his 12 points after halftime, Aidan Callahan (Rowley, MA) flirted with a triple-double by accumulating 11 points, eight boards and seven assists in just 29 minutes of work and Brett Marelli (Hampton, NH) equaled his career-high with 10 points to highlight a strong performance from the WPI bench.
Tim Reidy (Wellesley, MA) also shined as part of the Engineers bench, netting eight points as the hosts outscored their Springfield reserve counterparts 27-17 on the night. John Adams (Douglas, MA) tossed in six points and led all players with nine rebounds and WPI enjoyed a 44-30 bulge on the glass.
John Paulino (Bedford, MA) netted 11 points and grabbed six boards for the Pride and the duo of Curtiss Blische (Barkhamsted, CT) and Daryl Costa (Providence, RI) each added 10 points. Springfield finished the night shooting 17-for-48 (35%), but WPI also parlayed 18 Pride turnovers into 21 points while SC only amassed 8 points off of 12 WPI miscues.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday at 1pm with WPI traveling to Cambridge for a matchup with MIT and Springfield entertaining Babson.