Fitchburg State Falls At #15 WPI, 100-80
Selby leads Falcons in non-conference setback with 17 points and six boards
FITCHBURG, Mass. (December 10, 2011) – Sophomore Brandon Selby (Baltimore, Md./Joppatowne) registered a team-best 17 points and six boards but the Fitchburg State men's basketball team fell to WPI, 100-80 in non-conference action this afternoon.
Matt Carr (Somersworth, NH) scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Engineers to their eighth victory of the season. The contest was a matchup of 7-1 teams, as WPI, ranked No. 15 in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25, improves to 8-1 and Fitchburg State falls to 7-2.
Carr continued his tremendous play, scoring the first five points for the Engineers and helping the hosts take an early 8-2 lead. WPI forced the tempo throughout the first period at both ends of the floor, taking a 32-15 lead off a steal under the basket and a short jumper from Jameel Galloway (Randolph, Mass.) with 8:39 remaining in the half.
The visitors would attempt to rally, embarking on a 9-2 run that was capped off by a three-point basket by Jeremy Kimber (Fitchburg, Mass./Fitchburg) to cut the WPI advantage to ten. But the fast-paced Engineer offense kept the pressure on Fitchburg State throughout the period, shooting 54 percent from the floor. Marco Coppola (Watertown, Mass.) hit a three-pointer as time expired to send the Crimson and Gray into halftime with a 49-31 lead. Carr finished the period with 12 points while Mike Ingram-Rubin (Boston, Mass./Bedford) led Fitchburg State with eight points.
The start of the second half would see a flurry of scoring from both teams as Fitchburg State attempted to diminish the WPI lead. An 8-2 Falcon run capped off by two free throws from Zach Valliere (Douglas, Mass./Douglas) cut the Engineer advantage to 58-43 with 14:25 left in the game, butut WPI would respond with a key 3-pointer by Ryan Kolb (Southington, Conn.) and baskets by Coppola and Carr kept the Engineers well ahead.
The Falcons attempted to rally again with a 12-4 run completed by a 3-pointer from Tom Henneberry (Lexington, Mass./Lexington), cutting the lead to 78-62 with 7:04 remaining. Free throws trimmed the lead all the way down to 11 before a three and a layup by Carr helped spark a 7-0 WPI spurt to take a 96-78 lead with 2:29 remaining to put the game out of reach.
Ingram-Rubin finished with 15 points and six rebounds for Fitchburg State, while Kimber shot six-of-eight from the floor to finish with 13 points on the afternoon. Valliere added ten points and seven rebounds to aid the Falcons offense.
Fitchburg State is back on the court on Tuesday, January 3rd when they travel to Anna Maria at 7:30 p.m. WPI will return to action after Christmas when it hosts the Colonials of Western Connecticut on Wednesday, December 28th in a 2 p.m. game.