WORCESTER, Mass -- With eight players standing at least 6-foot-5 inches tall, the No.-16 nationally-ranked WPI men's basketball team took the lead six minutes into action, and used 62.1 percent second-half shooting to expand a 17-point halftime lead and ease to an 88-63 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University in the consolation game of the WPI Ted Coghlin Memorial Tournament Saturday afternoon at Harrington Auditorium.
WPI (2-1) had lost a 78-73 decision to New England College in Fridy's opener while Eastern (0-2) fell to No. 10-ranked Nichols College, 74-56.
The Engineers limited Eastern to 27 rebounds and a 37.5 shooting percentage in downing Eastern after losing, 78-68, to the Warriors in the tournament championship game two years ago. With Eastern starting only one player as tall as 6-foot-5, WPI's 6-foot-7 inch junior Garrett Stephenson led all players with 20 points (10-of-12 from the floor) and eight rebounds. The hosts scored 58 of their points in the paint.
Six-foot-4 inch sophomore forward Seth Thomas (Norwich) led Eastern with 11 points and sophomore guard Thomas Close (East Hampton) had ten. Making his second career start after missing all of last year with injury, 6-foot-5 inch junior forward Matt McKinnon (Newington) totaled a career-tying eight points on 4-of-5 shooting in 21 minutes.
Eastern visits Johnson & Wales University Thursday at 7 p.m.