Worcester, MA --- Freshman Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) netted a career-high 11 points and Matt Carr (Somersworth, NH) notched his sixth double-double of the season to propel nationally-ranked WPI to a 60-47 victory over visiting Coast Guard in NEWMAC men's basketball action on Wednesday evening.
WPI, ranked No. 12 in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 and fifth in the most current NCAA Division III New England rankings, claimed its 12th straight victory, tied for the second longest winning streak in school history. The Engineers are now 19-3 overall and 9-0 in conference play while the Bears fall to 8-13 on the season and 3-7 in NEWMAC action.
The victory also clinched at least a share of the NEWMAC regular season championship for the Engineers. It marks the seventh time in eight years WPI has won the NEWMAC crown and the Boynton Hillers can secure the number one seed and host the upcoming NEWMAC Championships with one win in their final three games or a Springfield loss in their final three contests.
WPI used a strong defense in the first half to open up a 21-15 advantage at the intermission. The Engineers held Coast Guard to 6-of-27 (22.2%) shooting from the floor and harassed the Bears into nine first half turnovers.
The Crimson and Gray turned their attention to the glass in the second half, outrebounding the visitors by a 21-10 margin after the break. Six different players registered multiple points during a 16-2 spurt midway through the second half that transformed a 31-27 WPI lead into an insurmountable 47-29 bulge with 9:14 left in the game.
Kolb drained all six of his free throws attempts on the night and saw fellow reserve Jerome Stewart (Bloomfield, CT) match his total of 11 points. Carr amassed 10 points and a game-best 12 rebounds en route to recording his seventh career double-double while Fernando Perez (Lowell, MA) hit all four of his shots from the floor on his way to eight points off the bench.
Guards Kevin Sowers (Monrovia, MD) and Ed Gailor (Lancaster, PA) paced the Coast Guard attack with 11 points apiece with Gailor connecting on a trio of 3-pointers. Adam Radtke(Valley City, OH) chipped in with 10 points while Jevon James (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) corralled a team-high eight rebounds and Devonte Weems (Chesapeake Beach, MD) filled the stat sheets with six assists, five rebounds, four points and a steal.
The Bears did well defending the 3-pointer, holding the hosts to just 4-of-16 shooting from downtown.
WPI is back in action on Saturday, traveling to Babson for a 3pm contest. Coast Guard is home the same day, entertaining MIT at 1pm.