Rodgers to the Rescue - Men's Basketball Edges Emerson on Rodgers' Jumper

Jake Wisniewski

Boston, MA --- Chris Rodgers (Franklin, MA) sank a baseline jumper with 1.1 seconds left in the game to propel WPI to an dramatic 62-61 NEWMAC road win at Emerson on Wednesday evening.  WPI is now 14-6 on the season and 5-4 in NEWMAC contests while Emerson slips to 4-16 overall and 0-8 in league play.  

With the game knotted at 57-57, Aaron Todd (York, ME) put WPI ahead with a 3-pointer from the left wing following a pass by Connor Willgress (Mill Creek, WA) with 1:48 remaining.   Emerson responded with a Geoffrey Gray (Newton, MA) jumper and then. after a WPI missed free throw and a Lion offensive rebound on the ensuing possession,  took the lead 61-60 on another Gray jumper with just under 17 seconds left.  The Engineers elected not to call time out and pushed the ball ahead and pass along the perimeter until Rogers dribbled out of danger from the right corner and got a tightly-contested jumper off for the victory.  The Lions had one last shot after a time out by a half court heave was short. 

Earlier WPI gained their biggest lead of 10 over Emerson at 17-7 at the 7:46 mark of the opening half on a triple by Doncaster.  The hosts clawed their way back and answered with a 10-2 run to square the score at 19-all before the Engineers drained five points to go up 24-21.  With 1:02 left to play in the opening frame, Geary canned a shot beyond the arc to even the score 24-all.  Jamani Spencer (Closter, NJ) sent up a three with two ticks on the clock to push WPI ahead, but it veered to the right and the half closed out squared at 24-24. 

The Lions carried its first half momentum into the second half and maintained its largest lead of four (36-32) at the 14:51 mark, but the Engineers answered with an 8-3 streak to go ahead by five point at 44-39 on a three Willgress.  Emerson surged and went up three on a triple by freshman Ben Holding (South Dartmouth, MA) at 53-50. 

John Geary (Duxbury, MA) finished 5-for-10 with 16 points and 4-for-7 from beyond the three-point line for Emerson. Gray  and junior Michael Sheng (Altadena, CA) each posted six rebounds each while Sheng also finished with a team-best four assists and two steals.  

Jake Wisniewski (West Brookfield, MA) paced WPI with a game-high 17 points, while Todd drained all seven of his field goal attempts and finished 15 points.  Ian Converse (Colchester, CT) and Rodgers netted 13 and 10 points respectively.  Todd and Willgress racked up five rebounds each while Sean Doncaster (Medford, MA) registered a career-best 10 assists. 

Emerson heads off to Clark on Saturday for a 1pm start.  WPI heads back to Worcester for NEWMAC action on Saturday, February 4 as well to host No. 1 Babson at 2pm. 

Majority of Release Courtesy Emerson Sports Information