Framingham, MA --- Junior Jake Wisniewski (West Brookfield, MA) registered a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds and freshman Logan O'Donnell (Fishkill, NY) came off the bench to hand in career-bests of 11 points and seven rebounds as WPI held on for a 70-61 triumph over host Framingham State in a non-conference men's basketball matchup Tuesday night.
The Engineers (7-0) have won each of the last four meetings, including the seventh of another 7-0 start in 2015-16. It is also the sixth such start for 18th-year head coach Chris Bartley.
WPI staked a 24-5 lead 10 minutes into the contest. Framingham State trimmed the deficit to eight with a nearly five minute long 13-4 run which was sparked by back-to-back layups by senior Khaneil Bruce (Cambridge, MA). A traditional three-point play by senior Manny Payton (Fitchburg, MA) made it a seven-point game at the half.
Out of the break, sophomore Garrett Stephenson (Townsend, MA) went on a personal 5-0 run before classmate Kahleb Downing (Middletown, CT) canned a jumper for a 14-point cushion with 17:41 to play. The margin remained between seven and 14 points until FSU sophomore Cameren McCloud-Thomas (Springfield, MA) hit a layup with 7:16 on the clock to make it 60-54. With just over four minutes left, Payton knocked down a pair of free throws and a jumper as the Rams pulled within three. Sophomore Reid Walker (Lithia, FL), who led the Engineers with 13 points including a bucket seven seconds into the game, sealed the win with four free throws down the stretch.
Walker also totaled five steals, two blocks and two assists. Stephenson and sophomore Dakota Wheeler (Easthampton, MA) each added nine points and Downing contributed eight points and five boards. Sophomore Jake Needleman (Morganville, NJ) accounted for seven more bench points to go with a pair from freshman John Wessel (New Oxford, PA).
Junior Tyri Hampton (Fitchburg, MA) posted a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds as Payton finished with 13 points. Bruce completed the game with eight points while senior Charles Valbrun (Hyde Park, MA) paced the reserves with seven points and seven rebounds.
The Crimson and Gray shot 50 percent in the first half and finished 43.9 percent while Framingham State shot 44.8 percent in the second half and ended 39.7 percent. In all, WPI had slim advantages with the widest margin being points from the bench (20-14).
The Engineers continue their tour of the MASCAC Saturday with a 1pm appointment at Salem State. The Rams (1-6) travel to Worcester Thursday for a 6pm tipoff at Clark.