Needleman, Walker and McNamara Ignite Men’s Basketball in Season Opening Triumph

Colin McNamara

WORCESTER – Freshman Jake Needleman (Morganville, NJ) led WPI with 18 points – all 3-pointers – off the bench and along with classmates Reid Walker (Lithia, FL) and Colin McNamara (Arlington, MA) accounted for 39 of the 59 bench points in a 96-62 Men's Basketball's season, and third annual Ted Coghlin Memorial Tournament, opener versus UMaine Farmington Friday night in Harrington Auditorium.

Needleman netted 15 in the first half on 5-of-8 shooting while Walker added 11 points and four assists and McNamara finished with 10 points, three steals and two helpers. Rookie Dakota Wheeler (Easthampton, MA) debuted with nine points and classmate Garrett Stephenson (Townsend, MA) followed with eight to go with a game-high eight boards. Senior Aaron Todd (York, ME) and junior Jamani Spencer (Closter, NJ) combined for 15 points as the latter also handed out six assists.

The Beavers were paced by sophomore Riley Robinson (Dixfield, ME) who scored 16 of his 26 points in the first half and junior Milani Hicks (Scarborough, ME) netted 10 of his 17 in the first 20 minutes and recorded three of the guests' five steals.

The teams traded layups out of the gate for the early tie at 19:12. From there, WPI went on to build as much as a 23-point cushion with 24 seconds left in the first half.

UMaine Farmington pulled within 14 thanks to a Robinson triple three minutes into the second half. The Crimson and Gray then pushed the advantage into the 30's on the front end of a pair of free throws by freshman Ethan Harrell (Pittsburgh, PA) with 8:22 to play.

In addition to bench points, the Engineers were better in the paint (34-18), off turnovers (33-13), second chance (14-8) and fast break (10-2) points.

WPI (1-0) takes on the winner of the 7:30pm Dean and Eastern Connecticut contest in the championship game tomorrow at 3pm. UMaine Farmington (0-1) will be the home team in the 1pm consolation game.


Brown Boosts Eastern Connecticut Past Dean at Ted Coghlin Memorial Tournament

WORCESTER – Senior Tarchee Brown (Rockville, CT) led all players with 20 points as Eastern Connecticut State University defeated Dean 87-64 Friday night in the second semifinal of the Ted Coghlin Memorial Tournament, hosted by WPI men's basketball, in Harrington Auditorium.

Brown also stuffed the stat sheet with eight assists and six rebounds. Fellow starter sophomore Carlos Gonzalez (Springfield, MA) added 13 points, five assists and five rebounds while classmate Jake Collagan (Wethersfield, CT) came off the bench to contribute 10 points. Senior Jacob Collins (Bristol, CT) also shared game-best honors with six boards.

Dean, who was making its debut as an NCAA Division III provisional member, was led by reserves junior Randolf Thurman (Swampscott, MA) and freshman Malik Brown (Miami, FL). Thurman led the Bulldogs with 16 points as Brown followed with 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds in a combined 42 minutes. Junior Armani Baker (Pawtucket, RI) narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Jordan Booker (Waterbury, CT) was credited with four of the teams 10 steals.

The Warriors enjoyed cushions of 40-19 in the paint, 26-13 off turnovers and 18-6 in second chance points. There was only a two point margin in bench points (34-32) and a three tally difference in fast break points (8-5).

ECSU (1-0) meets host WPI tomorrow at 3pm in the title game while Dean (0-1) takes on UMaine Farmington at 1pm in the consolation.