Needleman Notches 15 While Wooster Comes From Behind to Edge Men’s Basketball

Jake Needleman
Jake Needleman

WOOSTER, OH – Junior Eric Bulic (Brunswick, OH) sank the game-winning free throw with a second left in the game and classmate Reece Dupler (Newark, OH) scored 13 of his contest-best 24 points as Wooster erased a 17-point deficit en route to a 76-75 victory over visiting WPI in the "Mose" Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Men's Basketball Classic Friday night in Timken Gymnasium.

The Fighting Scots (8-3), who won 71-60 on January 5, 1991 in Harrington Auditorium, are now 2-0 all-time versus WPI (5-5). The Engineers will take on Alma at 3pm tomorrow in the consolation game while Wooster draws 10-0 Emory & Henry in the championship at 5pm.

Dupler began the comeback with a 3-pointer with 11:55 remaining in the second half. He then used a triple to make it a one-point game with 2:54 to play. Freshman Jake Needleman's (Morganville, NJ) threes sandwiched a Dupler jumper to push the advantage back to five. Dupler cut it to a pair 10 seconds later while sophomore Danyon Hempy (Waldo, OH) tied the game at 75 with 39.5 on the clock. Senior Chris Rodgers (Franklin, MA) drew a shooting foul with 24.2 only to come up empty. Bulic then provided the heroics on the front end of a one-and-one with one tick remaining.

The first half featured 12 points, on 4-of-5 shooting from downtown, by senior Dave Zielinski (Shelton, CT) to go with 16 points by the bench. WPI eventually made it a double-digit game following a Needleman freebie with 2:30 left in the frame.

Needleman led the Engineers with 15 points off the bench on 5-of-6 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Classmate Garrett Stephenson (Townsend, MA) added 13 points and five rebounds to help the guest's reserves outscore Wooster's bench 35-13. Junior Jamani Spencer (Closter, NJ) also scored 13 for the Crimson and Gray as freshman Reid Walker (Lithia, FL) pulled down eight boards and classmate Dakota Wheeler (Easthampton, MA) hauled in six.

Senior Spencer Williams (Warrensville Heights, OH) and Hempy scored 18 and 13, respectively, while Bulic contributed with a game-best 12 rebounds.

WPI controlled points off turnovers (24-13) as Wooster held advantages in second chance points (14-4) and points in the paint (34-28).