McNamara, Needleman and Harrell Lead Men’s Basketball to Season Sweep of Wheaton

Logan O'Donnell
Logan O'Donnell

Norton, MA --- Colin McNamara (Arlington, MA) led the Engineers with a team-high 16 points as WPI completed the season sweep of Wheaton with a 71-58 NEWMAC men's basketball triumph Saturday afternoon in Emerson Gymnasium.

The Crimson and Gray (15-4, 6-2) also runs their current winning streak to six and it is the 15th consecutive win in the series with the Lyons (10-8, 1-7).

Jake Needleman (Morganville, NJ) and Ethan Harrell (Wexford, PA) each chipped in 12 points, with Harrell leading WPI with nine boards. 

Niles Cohen (Cambridge, MA), David Carbonello (Windham, NH), and Duaka Ekwensi (Morris Plains, NJ) all finish in double-figures scoring for Wheaton. Carbonello finished with a game-high 20 points while pulling down seven rebounds and coming up with one steal. Ekwensi netted 12 points while pulling down eight boards and Cohen contributed 10 points. Robby Lowey (Foxboro, MA) led all players with 10 rebounds, seven of which came on the defensive side of the ball. 

The game got off to a slow start with the two sides trading turnovers and fouls before Jake Wisniewski (West Brookfield, MA) put the Engineers on the board with a jumper a minute in. Lowey countered with a layup moments later to knot the game at 2-2. It would take over a minute before either side would manage to score again. After breaking the deadlock, the Lyons took what would prove to be their largest lead of the game at the 15:10 mark with another Lowey layup that made it a 9-7 contest. Harrell locked the game at 9-9 with 12:39 remaining in the half, before hitting a three-pointer seconds later handing the Engineers the lead for good. Wheaton ended its scoring drought with 8:02 remaining in the first half with a Carbonello jump shot that pulled the Lyons back within single-digits. The two sides would trade baskets the rest of the way with the Engineers finding a way to keep the Lyons at a safe, double-digit, disadvantage at the intermission (41-29).

Logan O'Donnell (Fishkill, NY) and McNamara hit the first three shots of the second half, pushing the Engineer lead 47-29 with 18:46 to play. Both offenses dried up again, this time with over two minutes passing before the ball would find its way into the hoop. The Engineers pushed their lead to twenty-plus points on an O'Donnell untraditional three-point play. WPI would hold that advantage for the majority of the contest, earning its largest lead with 13:16 to play on a Needleman three that made it a 57-31 contest. Wheaton cut the deficit to 64-50 on an Ekwensi free-throw with 5:14 remaining. Jordan Wiggins (East Longmeadow, MA) pulled Wheaton within 12 points, 70-58, in the final minute of the game, but WPI would hit one more free-throw to end the contest 71-58. 

WPI welcomes Clark Wednesday night for a 7pm NEWMAC and city showdown while Wheaton heads to Emerson for a 7:30pm tip.

Release Courtesy Wheaton Sports Information