Worcester, MA --- Freshman Zach Karalis (North Andover, MA) came off the bench to post game-highs of 14 points and five assists as the WPI men's basketball program established a new school record for wins to start the season with a 66-44 triumph over visiting Colby-Sawyer on Sunday afternoon.
The Engineers, who are ranked 18th in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25, are now 11-0 and have won 13 straight games including last season's ECAC Tournament. Colby-Sawyer is now 2-7.
The hosts never trailed, hitting its first three shots en route to scoring the opening six points of the contest. The Engineers led 16-8 before using their defense to spearhead a 14-1 spurt that saw Colby-Sawyer net a free throw over a 8:12 span. During the run, the Chargers misfired on 10 shots from the field and committed six turnovers. The visitors however tallied six of the last eight points of the stanza to cut the deficit to 16 at 35-19 at the break.
Karalis poured in eight points in the first 8:42 after intermission as the Engineers increased its advantage early in the second half and saw it lead dip below 20 points on just one occasion in the last 15 minutes.
The rookie, who canned four 3-pointers on the day, was the only WPI player in double figures but Sam Longwell (Acton, MA), Domenick Mastascusa (North Reading, MA) and Marco Coppola (Watertown, MA) each came close with nine points apiece. Mastascusa grabbed seven rebounds and Joe Wesoloski (Arlington, MA) and Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) both hauled in six as the Engineers enjoyed a 39-31 edge on the glass.
Mike Dias (Carver, MA) paced the Colby-Sawyer attack with 11 points and seven rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Peter Donato (Portland, ME) led all players with eight boards and Corey Willis (Easton, MA) contributed three assists and Zach Bean (Scarborough, ME) added three steals for the Chargers.
Turnovers were nearly even (Colby-Sawyer with 23 and WPI with 20) but the Engineers parlayed them into 21 points while the visitors were only able to convert the miscues into four points.
WPI returns to the court on Wednesday with a 2pm start in Standish, Maine against host St. Joseph's. Colby-Sawyer turns its attention to next weekend when it hosts Maine Maritime on Friday and Husson on Saturday in NAC contests.