Courtesy of our friends from the WPI sports information department, here’s this evening’s press release pertaining toward the men’s basketball team, which earned its 22nd consecutive win of the season against Wheaton College:
Worcester, MA — Five different players reached double figures in scoring and Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) collected his third double-double of the season and fourth of his career as host WPI defeated Wheaton 86-59 in a NEWMAC men’s basketball contest played on Wednesday evening.
WPI, ranked second in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25, remains undefeated on the season, improving to 22-0 overall and 9-0 in conference action. The Engineers have won 24 straight dating back to last season’s ECAC Championship and their 22 wins are the most among all 1,038 NCAA men’s basketball teams across all three divisions. Wheaton dips to 9-12 on the season and 1-8 in NEWMAC play.
WPI led the entire game but Wheaton kept it close in the first half as Billy Battaglia (Simsbury, CT) led the Lyons with 14 points off the bench. Marco Coppola (Watertown, MA) helped WPI take a 41-30 advantage into the locker room with 15 points while Joe Wesoloski (Arlington, MA) tossed in seven points and gobbled up eight boards in the opening stanza.
The Engineers jumped out of the gate quickly scoring 17 of the first 19 points after intermission and the hosts would not see their lead slip below 21 points the rest of the way. Kolb spearheaded the rally with six of his 17 points during the spurt.
Kolb ended the night with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds while Wesoloski narrowly missed a double-double of his own. The senior, who connected on 6-of-7 shots from the floor, established a new career-best with 13 points and equaled his best output with nine boards.
Coppola and Zach Karalis (North Andover, MA) each tallied 17 points for the hosts as Karalis drained six of his seven shots, including 3-of-4 from behind the 3-point line. Sam Longwell (Action, MA) added 10 points for the Engineers, who owned a 42-31 edge on the class and enjoyed a 22-9 advantage in points off turnovers.
Battaglia equaled his career-best with 21 points, including four 3-pointers for the Lyons. Scott Faucher (Lebanon, NH) and Mike O’Loughlin (Milford, NH) contributed 11 and 10 points respectively while Jaycob Morales (Lawrence, MA) and Brian Johnson (Roxbury, MA) both chipped in with eight. Johnson hauled in seven boards for the visitiors while Morales doled out three assists.
WPI begins a three-game regular season-ending road trip at Springfield on Saturday at 2pm. Wheaton heads to New London, CT to face Coast Guard the same day at 3pm.