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WPI Men's Basketball Uses Second Half Surge To Defeat Wheaton

Capstick scores six points, hauls in eight rebounds in loss for Lyons

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), ranked eighth overall in the latest D3hoops.com national poll, opened up a 26-21 halftime lead with a 32-point second half to defeat the Wheaton College men's basketball team, 58-41, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday afternoon at Emerson Gymnasium.

Sophomore forward Eddie Capstick (Worcester, Mass./Marianapolis Prep) notched six points, brought down eight rebounds and collected one steal and one assist for the hosts. Senior guard Scott Faucher (Lebanon, N.H./Kimball Union Academy) led Wheaton in scoring with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, three rebounds, two steals and one assist. Classmate Brian Johnson(Roxbury, Mass./Brimmer and May School) compiled four points, a team-high nine rebounds, two blocks, two steals and one assist.

The Engineers were paced offensively by sophomore guard Sam Longwell (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro) who poured in a game-high 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting, including a 3-for-5 showing from long distance, and nine rebounds. Classmate Domenick Mastascusa (North Reading, Mass./Malden Catholic) turned in ten points, three boards, two steals and one assist while sophomore guard Marco Coppola (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) had seven points, three assists, one rebound and one steal.

WPI shot 40.4-percent from the field (21-for-52), 40.9-percent from beyond the arc (9-for-22) and 63.6-percent at the line (7-for-11). Wheaton connected on 30.4-percent of its field goals (14-for-46), 17.6-percent from long distance (3-for-17) and 62.5-percent at the line (10-for-16). The Lyons outrebounded the visitors, 35-32, and also held a slim 11-9 advantage in points off of turnovers. WPI committed six fewer turnovers (20-14) in the contest and outscored the hosts, 20-13, bench points.

Ahead 26-21 at halftime, the Engineers stretched their gap to 12 points with an 8-1 run to begin the second stanza. Coppola and Longwell knocked down one 3-pointer apiece at 17:58 and 16:13, respectively to highlight the run. Mastascusa and senior forward Joe Wesoloski (Arlington, Mass./Arlington Catholic) both converted one free throw shot in between the pair of three-pointers.

Wheaton came within eight points (38-30) at 13:47 as Johnson swished home two free throws but freshman guard Zach Karalis (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) answered with a three-ball at 13:28 for the Engineers to push their lead back to double-digits for good. WPI led by as many as 20 points (58-38) with 1:12 remaining in the contest.

The Lyons held a two-point lead (13-11) midway through the first half as they erased an early 7-0 deficit with a 13-4 run. Freshman Billy Battaglia (Simsbury, Conn./The Taft School) and O'Loughlin guided Wheaton during that stretch with four points each.

Wheaton (6-7, 0-3 NEWMAC) visits Springfield College for a NEWMAC matchup Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. No.8 ranked WPI (16-0, 3-0 NEWMAC) hosts Clark University on Wednesday in a NEWMAC clash at 7 p.m.

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