Worcester, MA - David Brown (Lowell, MA) scored a career-high 18 points and shot 5-of-7 from behind the arc as WPI defeated Saint Joseph's College, 68-58 on Saturday afternoon in men's basketball action at the Harrington Auditorium. The Engineers are now 9-2 on the season while the Monks stumble to 6-2.
WPI entered today's non-conference tilt ranked 17th in the latest D3hoops.com national poll.
Both teams played each other tightly for much of the opening half. The Crimson and Gray took a 26-20 lead with 5:09 remaining in the first period after two free throws from Mike Byron (Easton, MA) only to see the Monks respond with a 7-0 run capped off by a layup from Matthew Medeiros (Westport, MA). WPI's Matt Carr (Somersworth, NH) completed a 3-point play with 3.8 seconds remaining to give the hosts a 35-31 advantage, but St. Joe's senior guard Chris Petzy (Kensington, NH) hit a three pointer at the buzzer to bring his team to within one going into halftime, 35-34. Zach O'Brien (Schenectady, NY) led Saint Joseph's in the first half with nine points and four rebounds, helping the Monks control the pace. Carr scored seven points with four rebounds to lead the Engineers.
As the second half got underway, WPI would explode on a blistering 10-0 run, capped off by another three-point play by Carr as the Crimson and Gray took a 45-34 edge. Forcing their trademark up-tempo style of play, the Engineers took control of the game at both ends of the floor for much of the period. Down by as much as 14, St. Joe's would rally, putting on a stifling defensive display and cutting the lead to six on a layup by Julio Vazquez (Waterbury, CT) with 6:56 remaining, 58-52. As they had for much of the game, WPI would turn to Brown for a big basket when it mattered most, as the senior guard hit a huge shot from behind the arc to swing momentum back in favor of the Crimson and Gray. A 10-4 WPI run capped off with a jumper by Marco Coppola (Watertown, MA) would secure the victory.
Behind Brown's clutch-shooting, Carr was a presence inside with 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Coppola filled up the stat line with 11 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals. Sam Longwell (Acton, MA) came off the bench to pull down six rebounds while scoring four points. Ten turnovers by the Engineers set a season-low.
Saint Joseph's was led by Petzy, who scored a game-high 19 points with two steals and two rebounds. O'Brien added 16 points with four boards. Clark Noonan (Bangor, ME) hauled down a game-high eight rebounds to go along with two points, two steals and two assists. Tom Ray (Cape Elizabeth, ME) finished with ten points and four rebounds.
WPI closes out a four-game home stand on Wednesday, January 4th a 7pm when it entertains Coast Guard in the NEWMAC opener for both squads. St. Joe's returns to Worcester County on Monday, January 2nd to face Becker in a 3pm contest.
COURTESY OF WPI SPORTS INFORMATION