Worcester, Mass. -Sam Longwell (Acton, Mass.) delivered a career-high 25 points to spark WPI to a 72-56 triumph over visiting Becker in a non-conference men's basketball matchup played on Saturday afternoon.
The Engineers are now 4-0 for the second straight season, fourth time in five years and seventh occasion in 10 seasons. Becker, who has reached the second round of the past two NCAA Tournaments, is 0-3.
Trailing much of the first half, the Crimson and Gray took their first lead of the game with just under three minutes to go before the break. Down 24-20 with 3:54 left in the half, Longwell scored eight of his eleven first half points in just over a minute, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers, and converting a layup. to give WPI a 28-24 advantage.
The Hawks were led by Donovin Ford-Hayes (Windsor Locks, Conn.) and Mike Russell (East Hampton, N.Y.) with eight and seven points respectively in the first half. Yahmad Rountree (Waterbury, Conn.) also chipped in with six points and a team-best five rebounds at intermission.
Becker opened the second stanza with a 9-4 run to cut the WPI lead to 40-38 with 16:27 left on a jumper by Tyler Roberson (Irvington, N.J.). The Engineers answered the Hawks' spurt with a 14-0 run to balloon their lead to sixteen (54-38) capped by a Wil Michalski (Shrewsbury, Mass.) lay-in with 12:23 to go.
WPI saw its lead increase to as many as 21 with 6:12 to go on a Longwell 3-point bucket.
The Hawks had four players in double figures. Rountree led the way with 15 points while adding seven rebounds and two blocks. Russell ended the day with thirteen points, a team high four assists and five rebounds. Ford-Hayes finished with eleven points while Roberson contributed ten points, three assists and three rebounds.
Zach Karalis (North Andover, Mass.) pulled in a game high nine rebounds and added eight points for the Engineers while Aaron Davis (Marshfield, Mass.) contributed a game high six assists. Marco Coppola (Watertown, Mass.) had 13 points, putting him in double-digits in all four WPI games this season.
The two teams now turn their attention to Tuesday. WPI heads to Chicopee for a 7pm match-up with Elms while Becker begins a five-game home stand against Anna Maria at 8pm in its 2012-13 home opener.