WOOSTER, OH – Freshman Reid Walker (Lithia, FL) pumped in a career-high 23 points, including 14 in the second half, and corralled 11 rebounds to lead WPI in an 88-65 men's basketball triumph over Alma (MI) in the E.M. "Mose" Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic consolation game Saturday afternoon at Wooster's Timken Gymnasium.
Freshman Garrett Stephenson (Townsend, MA), who scored 12 in the first half, finished with 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting inside and 2-for-2 at the charity stripe. Freshman Jake Needleman (Morganville, NJ), who represented the Crimson and Gray on the All-Tournament team, added 12 points followed by senior Dave Zielinski (Shelton, CT) and sophomore Jake Wisniewski (West Brookfield, MA) with 10 apiece. Senior Chris Rodgers (Franklin, MA) handed out game-bests of six assists and three steals.
Sophomore Steven Harvey (Grand Rapids, MI) paced Alma with a dozen points to go with 10 each by junior Doug Bradfield (Mason, MI) and senior Rob Holmes (Ada, MI), who also led the team with six boards. Sophomores Luke Lamoreaux (Sterling Heights, MI) and Ryan Stevens (Lowell, MI) each added four helpers to the cause.
The first half featured all eight lead changes and four ties. The game was even as late as 5:18 before the break. Junior Jamani Spencer (Closter, NJ) put the Engineers ahead for good with a triple with 4:52 on the scoreboard. He then canned a late three for the 40-36 margin at the break.
Wisniewski and Needleman put the Engineers up by nine coming out of the intermission. Back-to-back triples by Harvey and Stevens made it a 45-42 game with 17:41 to play. Another Harvey triple at 14:24 cut the margin to five (53-48); however, WPI scored the next 11 points, highlighted by long range buckets by freshman Dakota Wheeler (Easthampton, MA), Zielinski and Needleman, to take the 16-point lead and never look back.
Both benches netted 27 points while WPI was better off turnovers (19-9) second chance (13-2) and in the paint (30-18).
The Engineers (NEWMAC) and Scots (MIAA) begin conference action Wednesday at 7pm as WPI (6-5) hosts MIT and the Scots (3-8) travel to Kalamazoo.