Worcester, Mass. -- January 20, 2007 -- The WPI men’s basketball team earned its eleventh consecutive victory of the 2006-07 campaign on Saturday afternoon, as it defeated NEWMAC-rival Springfield College, 76-56, at Harrington Auditorium. The winning streak equals the second longest in school history. The 2003-04 squad holds the current record with 12 straight wins.
The nationally-ranked Engineers (No. 18 in the d3hoops.com poll), which improved to 14-1 overall and 5-0 in the conference, jumped out to a 12-2 lead over the first 5:36. Keying the WPI run were 3-pointers by Antoine Coleman (Everett, Mass.) and Jim Marois (Worcester, Mass.). It was WPI's second victory over Springfield in a 12-day span.
The Pride (8-10 overall, 3-2 NEWMAC) cut the lead in half courtesy of hoops from junior guard Jamaal Gibbs (Norwalk, Conn.) and freshman forward Pat Crean (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.), before WPI scored the next eight points. A trifecta from senior guard Ryan Cain (Webster, Mass.) (game-high 21 points) and a triple by Jerome Kirkland (Boston, Mass.) which sandwiched a Ryan Bourque (Nashua, N.H.) hoop on a nifty dish by Coleman (seven points, 11 rebounds).
WPI led 30-16 at the half keyed by three blocked shots by Bourque. The Crimson and Gray finished the game with 12 blocks.
The Engineers opened the second half with an 11-2 run, as they torched the nets with back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers over 1:34, including a pair by Cain. Kirkland (11 points, four assists) assisted on all three long distance shots.
For Springfield, Gibbs led with 15 points, while senior guard Anthony Pizzo (Clifton Park, N.Y.) scored 11 points, and recorded four steals and three assists. Freshman guard Ryan Blackmon (Stamford, Conn.) came off the bench to score 10 points for the Pride.
Springfield returns to action on Wednesday (Jan. 24), when it travels to Babson for a 7:00 pm start.