Second Half Rally Lifts WPI Past Men's Basketball

Second Half Rally Lifts WPI Past Men's Basketball

-Score: WPI 79, Clark University 55

-Records: Clark (5-15, NEWMAC 1-8), WPI (16-4, NEWMAC 7-2)

-Location: Worcester, Mass. (Harrington Auditorium)

-The Lead: A second half rally including 17 points from sophomore Kahleb Downing (Middletown, Conn.) lifted the Engineers to a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory over the Clark University men's basketball team on Wednesday evening.

HOW IT HAPPPENED

It took nearly three minutes before a team got on the scoreboard as Clark senior Adam Converse (Woodstock, Conn.) broke the ice at 17:01. Sophomore Reid Walker (Lithia, Fla.) answered for WPI 22 seconds later. From there, sophomore Anthony Grzembski (Webster, Mass.) bookended a personal 8-2 run with a pair of triples. With 13:44 left in the half, sophomore Colin McNamara (Arlington, Mass.) used a personal 4-0 run to spark an 11-0 outburst for the Engineers. After junior Jake Wisniewski (West Brookfield, Mass.) canned a pair of freebies, Clark sophomore Tyler Davern (Webster, Mass.) converted a traditional three-point play to halt the surge. Later in the frame, sophomore Dakota Wheeler (Easthampton, Mass.) used a 3-pointer to give the hosts an eight-point advantage (25-17) with 5:22 left until the break. Clark then used an 8-0 rally to tie the game at 25 with 3:38 on the clock. Jake Needleman (Morganville, N.J.) hit the front end of a pair of free throws down the stretch to send WPI into the break with a 32-27 advantage.

-The second half began with a WPI 7-1 outburst which was capped by a three by McNamara for the first double-digit margin of the contest at 17:28 (39-28). Grzembski cut the deficit to single digits twice, and Davern once, but a pair of Downing free throws with 8:34 to go put WPI back above 10 for the remainder of the night. The cushion extended to 24 behind a triple by freshman Drew Plante (Swansea, Mass.) with less than two minutes to play.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

-Downing posted 18 points and totaled six assists and four steals while McNamara added 16 points, and Wisniewski finished with 12. Needleman and Wheeler chipped in with nine apiece. Classmate Ethan Harrell (Wexford, Penn.) hauled in a game-best eight rebounds.

-Grzembski and Davern each registered 14 points to go with 10 from freshman Alex Nazaire (Ellicott City, Md.), who led the Cougars with six rebounds. Grzembski also contributed with four helpers.

-Clark shot 41.2% from the field while WPI shot 50.0%. Clark edged the Engineers in rebounding 33-29.

UP NEXT

-Clark hosts Babson on Saturday, February 2nd in NEWMAC action at 1:00 p.m.

-WPI travels to Coast Guard on the same day for a conference matchup at 1:00 p.m.