Worcester, MA --- Matt Carr (Somersworth, NH) registered game-highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds en route to posting his eighth career double-double as WPI opened the 2011-2012 men's basketball season with a 86-44 win over visiting Husson on Wednesday evening.
The game was a rematch of a 2009 NCAA Tournament first round contest, also won by WPI, and pitted two squads that also participated in last season's NCAA Tournament.
The Engineers never trailed in the matchup, rattling off the first eight points sandwiching 3-pointers by Marco Coppola (Watertown, MA) and David Brown (Lowell, MA) between a Carr layup. Husson closed the gap to four late in the first half but a 9-2 spurt in the waning moments sent the Crimson and Gray into the locker room with a 41-27 advantage at the break.
WPI turned on the defense after intermission, holding the Eagles to 17 second half points on 28.6% shooting from the floor. For the game the Engineers parlayed 27 Husson turnovers into 31 points.
Sam Longwell (Acton, MA) and Coppola joined Carr in double figures in scoring with 13 and 10 points respectively. Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) and Domenick Mastascusa (North Reading, MA) each added eight points and along with Longwell, highlighted an effort from the WPI bench that saw it outscore its Husson counterparts by an impressive 50-7 margin.
The hosts enjoyed a 47-30 on the glass with Kolb chipping in with eight boards. Brown and Jaime Shannon (Lowell, MA) each handed out four assists on the night while Coppola led all players with four steals.
Wes Murphy (Norwich, CT) and Phil Leighton (Naples, ME) led the Husson offensive attack with 12 points each with Murphy connecting on a game-best three 3-pointers. Dan Fleming (Fairfield, ME) and Murphy both amassed three blocks as the Eagles collected nine of the game's 11 swats. Jason Burgo (New Haven, CT) hauled in a team-best six rebounds to go along with five points.
WPI heads to the road for the first time this season, heading to Castleton State for a 6pm contest. Husson is back in action on Friday at 7pm, hosting Southern Maine in its home opener.