New Haven, CT --- Mason Jones (Manchester, NJ) and Jaqhawn Walters (Hartford, CT) combined for 51 points as Albertus Magnus rallied to force overtime and then defeated visiting WPI 77-73 in a non-conference men's basketball played Saturday afternoon. Both teams see their record even out at .500 with the Engineers slipping to 2-2 and the Falcons improving to 1-1 on the young season.
WPI, which led 33-23 at the half and never trailed in regulation, had a chance to win the game on its final possession in the waning seconds but was called for a shot clock violation that negated what would have a game-winning basket with 0.4 seconds remaining.
The Falcons scored the opening basket in overtime to take its first lead of the game but the Crimson and Gray answered back with a four-point play by Jake Needleman (Morganville, NJ) and a Chris Rodgers (Franklin, MA) layup to up 67-63. The hosts surged ahead 72-69 on a traditional 3-point play by Walters with 1:41 to go but WPI responded with a pair of free throws from Jake Wisniewski (West Brookfield, MA) and a Garrett Stephenson (Townsend, MA) layup to go back by 73-72 with 34 seconds remaining. The Falcons then scored the final five points behind a Jones trifecta with 22 ticks left and pair of free throws by Ryan Pittman (Stratford, CT) with 1.3 seconds remaining.
Needleman connected on seven 3-pointers and went off for a career-best 24 points along with a game-high four steals. Ethan Harrell (Pittsburgh, PA) added 14 off the bench for the Engineers while Rodgers stuffed the stat sheets with 11 rebounds, 10 on the defensive glass, nine assists, seven points and a pair of blocks. Wisniewski finished with 12 points and chipped in with eight points, seven boards, two assists and a block.
Pittman was the only player for Albertus Magnus other than Jones (26 points) and Walters (25 points) to collect multiple field goals. Pittman registered four points and two assists along with his nine points. Erick Langston (Stratford, CT) tallied a career-high 11 rebounds.
WPI is back in action Tuesday, hosting nationally-ranked Tufts at 7pm. Albertus Magnus hosts defending national champion Babson Wednesday at 7pm in the middle game of a three-game homestand.