WORCESTER, Mass. --- Marco Coppola (Watertown, MA) poured in a game-best 18 points to lift host WPI to a 71-38 victory versus Babson in the NEWMAC opener for both squads on Saturday afternoon.
The loss was only the second in the last eight games for Babson (8-5, 0-1 NEWMAC), which was looking for its second win of the season against a nationally-ranked foe.
The Engineers, ranked No. 14 in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25, remain perfect on the season at 13-0 and set a new school record with their 15th consecutive win. WPI concluded the 2011-2012 season by winning a pair of games to capture the ECAC New England Division championship.
WPI broke open a close contest when it rattled off 18 straight points during a nearly seven-minute stretch towards the end of the opening stanza. Copploa and freshman Zach Karalis (North Andover, MA) were instrumental during the spurt, combining for 16 points as the Crimson and Gray drained 7-of-9 shots during the run while forcing the Beavers into missing all six of their shots and committing five turnovers.
The hosts led 42-19 at the break and never saw its advantage slip below 21 in the second half.
Sam Longwell (Acton, MA) doled out a game-high five assists, picked off three steals, pulled down seven boards and added five points on the night. Karalis finished the game with 11 points while senior Joe Wesoloski (Arlington, MA) chipped in nine. Matt Harrington (Shrewsbury, MA) and Aaron Davis (Marshfield, MA) combined for 14 points and Davis added six rebounds.
Babson was paced by Russell Braithwaite (Brooklyn, NY), who collected a team-high 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor and grabbed six rebounds. John Wickey (Manchester, NH) led all players with eight rebounds (seven on the defensive end) while Matt Palazini (Franklin, MA) tossed in seven points. Travis Sheldon (Woodstock, NY) and Kenny Ross (Furlong, PA) both recorded two assists and a pair of steals.
The Beavers will return to Worcester on Tuesday, this time to face Clark at 4 p.m.
NOTE: Taken from a WPI press release.