Rodgers Collects First Career Double-Double in Men's Basketball's Road Win at Wheaton

Chris Rodgers

Norton, MA -- WPI junior Chris Rodgers (Franklin, MA) handed in his first career double-double in a 79-67 road victory at Wheaton in NEWMAC men's basketball action Wednesday night.

With the win, the Engineers improve to 16-8 overall and 7-6 in conference games.  The victory clinches a spot for the Crimson and Gray in next week's NEWMAC Tournament.  The Lyons (10-14, 5-8), who trailed by 23 at the break, outscored the Engineers in the second half. 

Senior Quinton Dale (Winthrop, MA) ended his regular season career in Emerson Gymnasium with his 12th double-double of the season. The senior knocked down a team-high 16 points and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore David Carbonello (Windham, NH) was the only other player to finish in double-figures for Wheaton, netting 10 points off the bench. Senior Timothy Berry (Sterling, MA) finished the night with nine points, while classmate Zach Parsons (Belchertown, MA) collected seven boards.

Senior Ian Converse (Woodstock, CT) paced the Engineers with a game-high 24 points, while Rodgers and freshman Jake Wisniewski (West Brookfield, MA) each knocked down 13 points and sophomore James Loring (Norton, MA) chipped in 11. Rodgers was the only other player to finish with a double-double, collecting 10 boards to go with his 13 points. 

Berry opened the night in style, hitting a three just seconds into the contest to give Wheaton the early lead. Parsons followed suit moments later with a quick layup to extend the Lyons lead to 5-3 with 18:51 on the clock. WPI countered with a three-pointer from Rodgers just to have it answered with another Parsons layup. Dale and senior Ben Christopher (Northampton, MA) pushed the Lyon advantage to 12-11 with 16:39 to go. 

Converse responded with two good free-throws, handing the lead back to WPI and sparking a 9-2 run by the Engineers that made it a 22-14 game with 11:34 to go until intermission. Converse handed the Engineers their first double-digit lead of the game with a layup four minutes later and once again sparking a WPI run. This time the Engineers went on an 8-1 run to push their advantage to 37-20 with 3:58 to go. Sophomore Nick Geremia (North Providence, RI) broke the Lyons scoring drought with a jumper with help from junior Ryan Fogarty (Walpole, MA). The basket was a little to late as WPI continued to dictate the pace, capturing a 48-25 lead as both teams headed to the locker room. 

Despite several scoring chances to start the second, it took a minute and a half for either side to make a basket, with junior Connor Willgress (Mill Creek, WA) draining one of two free-throws for the Engineers. Back-to-back three-pointers from Carbonello and sophomore Duaka Ekwensi (Morris Plains, NJ) cut the Lyon deficit to the teens, making it a 56-40 game with 14:15 to go. Wheaton continued to pressure WPI, eventually making it a 10 point, 59-49, contest four minutes later. The Engineers maintained a double-digit advantage until a three-pointer from Berry made it a 72-63 game with a little over a minute remaining. The Lyons were unable to stop the Engineers at the free-throw line.  

WPI closes out the regular season with a 3pm appointment in Harrington with city rival Clark. The Lyons will travel to Suffolk University to take on Emerson for a 6pm tip.

Majority Release Courtesy Wheaton Sports Information