Defense Travels! - Men's Basketball Holds Third Straight Foe to Under 50 in Win at Babson

Donovan Sevilla - WPI Men?s Basketball 2023

Babson Park, MA --- Aidan Callahan (Rowley, MA), Brett Marelli (Hampton, MA) and Donovan Sevilla (San Ramon, CA) all reached double figures in scoring and WPI held its third consecutive conference opponent to under 50 points as the Engineers knocked off host Babson 61-49 in a NEWMAC men's basketball contest played on Thursday.  

WPI, ranked 14th in the latest Top 25, has now won three straight and ups its record to 11-2 on the season and 3-0 in conference play.  Babson slips to 8-6 overall and 1-2 in NEWMAC play. 

The Crimson and Gray scored the first 7 points of the game and never trailed but the quickly played first half saw the Engineers take a double-digit lead just once at 25-15 with 6:39 remaining before the break. The Beavers netted eight of the stanza's final 13 points to cut the deficit to seven at the half at 30-23. The two squads shot nearly identical from the floor in the first half (WPI 42.9%, Babson 42.3%) but Engineers were 3-of-4 on trifectas while the hosts were only 1-of-8 from downtown. 

The guests used a 16-1 spurt over just under a 10-minute span early in the second half to expand a 33-29 advantage into its biggest lead of the game at 50-30 with 8:52 to go. Callahan and J.R. Newman (Havertown, PA) highlighted the run, combining for 11 points as WPI put the game away.     

Callahan led the Engineers on the night with 13 points shooting 4-of-7 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line, while Marelli dropped 12 points off the bench for and Sevilla netted with 11 points on 50% shooting while shooting perfect from beyond the 3-point arc.  Andrew Lufkin (Auburn, NH) added eight points and Newman finished with seven while John Adams (Douglas, MA) and John Lowther (Hingham, MA) combined for 15 rebounds. 

Babson's Andrew Kirkpatrick (Winnetka, IL) led the hosts with 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting as John Gorgol (Scottsdale, AZ) and Aaron Gao (Bridgewater, NJ) recorded 12 and 11 points on the night respectively.    

The Engineers entered the week with the top scoring defense in Division III and fourth in all divisions of NCAA basketball but coupled with tonight's performance and Tennessee yielding 68 points last night in a win over Vanderbilt and North Texas giving up 65 tonight (47 in the second half) in a victory against Louisiana Tech the Engineers were second until taking over the top spot about 90 minutes after their own win when top-rank Division I Houston allowed 77 points in a 82-77 triumph versus South Florida.  WPI has now allowed 52.6 ppg to leapfrog the Cougars (52.9 ppg).

WPI hosts Emerson Saturday at 2pm in not only a rematch of the 2022 NEWMAC Tournament championship game, but also a showdown between the last two remaining teams undefeated this season in conference play.  Babson is also at home Saturday, tangling with Wheaton in a 1pm contest.