WORCESTER – Tournament MVP Clyde Niba (Atlanta, GA) amassed a season-high 32 points to help the host WPI capture the inaugural Ted Coghlin Memorial Men's Basketball Tournament with a hard-earned 66-62 triumph over Staten Island on Saturday afternoon.
The victory pushes WPI's record to 4-0 for the third time in five years, but the first such occasion since 2012. The Dolphins, who had rallied from a 29-point deficit Friday while defeating Colby in overtime, are now 2-1 on the year.
The Engineers raced ahead in Saturday's title tilt as Niba drained all nine of his first half shots en route to a 24 point performance in the opening 20 minutes. WPI led by as many as 13 at 36-23, but saw Staten Island rattled off eight of the frame's final 10 points to slice the deficit to 38-31 at the break.
The second half was played entirely within a nine point window with the Dolphins finally forging its first tie since the opening minutes at 56-56 on a Will Fonseca (Brooklyn, NY) free throw with just under four minutes remaining. After each team missed jumpers on their ensuing possessions, Niba put the hosts up for good when he canned a 3-pointer from the left wing with 3:17 to go. The lead ballooned back up to seven in the waning seconds but Frank Schettino (Staten Island, NY) gave the Dolphins hope when he converted a four-point play with 11.7 seconds left to make it 65-62. The Engineers secured the victory when Sean Doncaster (Medford, MA) hit a free throw with 4.3 left to make the final 66-62.
Niba finished 11-of-17 of the floor, including a sizzling 6-of-8 from downtown, and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. The senior also corralled six rebounds and swiped a pair of steals. Doncaster was the only other Boynton Hiller in double digits in scoring with 16 while Ian Converse (Woodstock, CT) chipped in with six points and a team-best eight boards. Doncaster and Aaron Davis (Marshfield, MA) combined for seven assists for the Crimson and Gray.
Schettino continued his torrid weekend in Worcester for the Dolphins. The junior finished with 29 points, just a day after erupting for 43 in Staten Island's win Friday night over the Mules. Schettino also stuffed the stat sheets with five rebounds, five steals and a pair of assists. Fonseca, a Preseason All-America, contributed 10 points and eight rebounds for the guests while Tom Delahanty (Staten Island, NY) led all rebounders with nine caroms to along with six points.
Both teams are back in action on Tuesday. WPI entertains city rival Worcester at 7:30pm while Staten Island heads to Hunter at 7pm in its CUNYAC opener.
Colby Defeats Curry in Ted Coughlin Memorial Tournament Consolation
WORCESTER – Senior Chris Hudnut (Chevy Chase, MD) dropped 38 points on 14-for-20 shooting from the field and was 10-for-11 at the free throw line to lead Colby past Curry, 102-88, in the Ted Coghlin Memorial Tournament consolation game played in Harrington Auditorium.
Senior Luke Westman (Newton, MA) posted a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards while classmate Ryan Jann (Westford, MA) added 22 points for the Mules. Senior Patrick Stewart (Bangor, ME) also chipped in with 11 on the afternoon. Sophomore Pat Dickert (Hatfield, MA), bolstered by a 6-for-6 day at the charity stripe, finished with nine points. Stewart at senior Sam Willson (Watertown, CT) each hauled in seven boards as Willson blocked three shots and Hudnut handed out five assists.
Junior Trey Jones (Mattapan, MA) led the Colonels with 21 points followed by junior Paul Preziosi (Quincy, MA) with 20. Senior Tim Flanagan (Providence, RI) chipped in with 14 and junior James Pina (Warwick, RI) came off the bench to score 15 and lead the team with nine boards.
Colby had the upper hand in the paint (42-28), off turnovers (24-6), second chance (14-6) and fast break points (4-0). Curry's bench outscored the Mules 28-15.
The Mules led most of the first half and claimed an 11-point advantage with 5:52 left before the break. Preziosi then scored nine of the Colonels 15 points to take the 39-38 lead with 1:43 remaining in the half. The teams traded the lead once more as the Mules headed to the locker room up 42-41.
Jones gave Curry its final lead of the day when he canned a three with 18:10 to go in the contest. Colby slowly pulled away and enjoyed as much as a 17 point cushion with 6:11 to play. Jones' free throws at 5:03 and three-pointer at 3:01 brought the game back to single digits only to see Colby finish with the 14-point margin.
Colby (1-1) hosts Thomas Tuesday at 5pm while Curry (0-4) faces Dallas on Friday, as part of the Curry/Eastern Nazarene Thanksgiving Tournament, in Quincy.