WORCESTER, Mass. – Obi Obiora (Boston, MA) netted 17 of his career-best 22 points in the first half as WPI cruised to a 89-64 victory over visiting Curry in the opening game of the inaugural Ted Coghlin Memorial Men's Basketball Tournament on Friday evening.
The Engineers (3-0) advance to Saturday's 3pm championship game where they will play the winner of Friday's late contest between Colby and Staten Island. Curry will play Saturday at 1pm in the consolation game.
Trailing 7-5 five minutes in, the hosts embarked upon a 24-7 run to surge ahead 29-14 and would see its advantage slip to single digits only once the rest of the way.
Obiora gave the Crimson and Gray a lift off the bench. The returning NEWMAC Rookie of the Year drained 8-of-9 shots in the opening 20 minutes to highlight a 32-6 edge in bench scoring by the WPI reserves in the first half.
Buoyed by a short jumper and a conventional 3-poiner play from Obiora, the Engineers came out of the locker room after intermission and tallied the first nine points to put the game way.
Dave Zielinski (Shelton, CT) joined Obiora with a career-high in scoring. The sophomore tossed in 11 points, including a trio of trifectas, in just 14 minutes of action. Clyde Niba (Atlanta, GA) and Ian Converse (Woodstock, CT) both added nine points while Shane Farley (Burlington, MA) filled the stat sheets with six points and a game-high five assists. Niba paced the Engineers with seven boards, all off the defensive glass, and Jahshanti Allen (New York, NY) added four assists to go along with four points.
Trey Jones (Mattapan, MA) led the way for Curry with 21 points, including four 3-pointers. Paul Preziosi (Quincy, MA) notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while Tim Flanagan (Providence, RI) canned 12-of-13 free throws en route to netting 14 points.
For the game, the WPI bench outscored its Curry counterparts by a 69-10 margin and harassed the Colonels into 26 miscues while only committing 11 turnovers themselves. (Recap courtesy of WPI Sports Information)