MEDFORD – Sophomore Luke Rogers and freshman Carson Cohen combined for 37 points, but it wasn't enough as the Tufts men's basketball team wasn't able to hold off a strong second half by visiting WPI, and fell to the Engineers, 89-66, on Tuesday night.
|Sophomore Justin Kouyoumdjian helped with 12 points Tuesday|
With the setback the Jumbos are 2-2 on the season. WPI improves to 5-0 with the win.
The two teams traded points and the lead early, with neither team leading by more than four points during the first eight minutes. Ahead by one, 14-13, the Jumbos got a three from junior captain Eric Savage, followed by a free throw from sophomore Brennan Morris and a layup Rogers to increase their lead to seven, 20-13, with 11:34 left in the half. After a free throw from WPI's Ethan Harrell, a jumper from Rogers gave the Jumbos an eight-point lead, 22-14, with just over ten minutes remaining in the half.
But, the Engineers chipped away at that lead, getting a jumper from Garrett Stephenson and then one from Jake Wisniewski to cut the Jumbo lead to four. Stephenson added another jumper about a minute later to bring the visitors within two, 22-20, with 8:36 remaining in the half. They followed that with a three from Jake Needleman to take a one-point lead, 23-22.
The lead went back and forth between the two teams as they traded points, and with things locked at 35 the Jumbos got a free throw from Cohen and he followed that with a three to give the Jumbos a four point lead, 39-35, with just about three minutes left in the half. The Engineers answered with a three from Dakota Wheeler and then a layup from Kahleb Downing. On the other end of the court Cohen turned in another three to give the Jumbos the 42-40 advantage going into the half.
Coming out of the break the two teams traded points to start the second half. With the score locked at 44 just about a minute and a half into the half the Engineers outscored the Jumbos 16-3 over the next eight minutes to take a 17 point lead, 64-47, with 11:53 remaining in the game.
Cohen broke up scoring streak with a layup and then made the free throw after to cut the lead to 14. But, the deficit was too much for the Jumbos to overcome and the Engineers picked up the 89-66 win. The Engineers made seven threes in the second half, and the Jumbos struggled, shooting just 20% during the second half.
Rogers finished with 23 points, six rebounds and two blocks for the Jumbos. Cohen added 14 points and six assists. Sophomore Justin Kouyoumdjian finished with 12 points and freshman Tyler Aronson added six points and eight rebounds. Savage turned in five points and five rebounds off the bench.
WPI had six players score in double-digits. Reid Walker and Stephenson both finished with 18 points, and Stephenson added nine rebounds while Walker helped with six rebounds and six assists. Wisniewski turned in a double-double, with 11 points and ten rebounds. Wheeler added 14 points and four rebounds, while Needleman finished with 13 points and four assists. Downing added ten points and four assists.
The Jumbos are back in action this weekend when they head to Babson for the New England Big Four Challenge. They open up play against Babson on Saturday at 5 pm. WPI plays again on Saturday when they travel to Fitchburg State for a 12 pm tip off.