Score: WPI 74, Emerson 73
Records: Emerson Lions (8-8, 2-3 NEWMAC) ; WPI Engineers (9-7, 3-2 NEWMAC)
Location: Boston, Mass. (Brown & Plofker Gym)
Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2018
The Lead: Despite an overall game-high 21 points from senior Michael Sheng (Altadena, Calif.) with nine seconds on the clock, Chris Rodgers of WPI canned the game-winning buzzer beater as time expired as the Emerson men's basketball fell to the visiting Engineers, 74-73, in NEWMAC men's basketball action on Wednesday night.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Leading all scorers was Sheng, who canned 8-of-13 including 2-of-5 from the three point line and 3-of-4 on the charity stripe to go along with seven rebounds and two assists.
- Following Sheng in double figures was junior Geoffrey Gray (Newton, Mass.) with 15 points and game high eight assists and sophomore Jack O'Connor (Newport, R.I.) with a double-double of 15 points and 11 boards.
- Pacing the WPI offense was both Aaron Todd and Jake Wisniewski, who both poured in 12 points as Lou Doherty was credited with a team-best four assists and Reid Walker pulled down eight boards.
- Emerson finished the night shooting 51% from the floor (26-51), went 45.5% on the three-point line (10-22) and canned 11-of-16 from the charity line (68.6%).
- WPI went 29-of-59 (49.2%) and 7-of-18 (38.9%) on the perimeter while shooting 47.4% (9-19) on the free throw line.
- The Engineers topped the Lions on the glass (34-29), while the Lions led in assists (18-12).
HOW IT HAPPENED
- WPI gained an early 7-3 lead after Dave Zieklinski drained a three at 17:57 and upped its lead to five (13-8) on a trey from Dakota Wheeler at 11:40.
- Both Gray and sophomore Ben Holding (South Dartmouth, Mass.) canned back-to-back triples to put Emerson on top (14-13) before WPI caught rhythm and upped its lead back to five (21-16) on Jake Needleman's three.
- Emerson answered with a 10-3 spurt capped off by a layup by sophomore Mac Sashin (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.) to push the Lions ahead by a pair (26-24).
- A three from Rodgers right off a WPI timeout propelled the visitors to tally the next 12 of 14 points and grabbed their biggest lead of nine (37-28) on a Wisniewski layup with 3:49 on the clock.
- The Lions erased the nine point deficit with the help of five points from Sheng as he used a trip to the free throw line with .2 seconds on the clock to edge the hosts within two (41-39) going into the half.
- Up to the 16:29 mark of the second frame, WPI controlled on both ends and tacked on 11 points to give themselves a 10-point cushion (52-42).
- Emerson was able to close within five thanks to a triple from O'Connor and lay-up from Holding (54-39), but WPI cashed in on a three from Doherty to help put the Engineers' advantage back to ten (59-49) at 12:22.
- The Engineers continued to hold a double figure lead over the Lions and bumped it to 13 (67-54) on a Rodgers jumper.
- Emerson used a triple from senior Corey Fitz (Los Altos, Calif.) and a lay-up from O'Connor inched the Lions to within five (67-62) as the hosts began to brew a comeback within the final four minutes of the half.
- Both teams used trips to the free throw line to keep the game within one as WPI gained the 72-71 lead with 15 ticks on the clock on a free throw from Todd.
- Sprinting up a wide open lane, Sheng put the go-ahead layup into the basket to give Emerson the 73-72 lead with nine seconds to go.
- WPI claimed the game's final possession and capitalized as Rodgers sent up the game-winning buzzer beating jumper that pushed the Engineers ahead 74-73.
- Emerson continues its home stand on Saturday, January 20 and will meet Wheaton (Mass.) in a 3:00 p.m. NEWMAC contest.
- WPI returns to Worcester to take on neighboring Clark on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
STAY LIVE WITH THE LIONS