WORCESTER, Mass. - Junior Liam Bruno led the Wheaton College men's basketball team with a career-high 21 points in the Lyons New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest at WPI Saturday afternoon. The host Engineers escaped with an 87-84 win.
Bruno led the Lyons (9-8; 4-2 NEWMAC) on a 9-for-14 afternoon from the floor, which included hitting 2-of-3 from three-point range, and making a free-throw. Ryan Fogarty contributed 16 points and Quinton Dale added 15. Senior Timothy Berry led the Lyons with seven rebounds, while Dale came up with three steals and Alex DuBrow had the teams only block.
Ian Converse led the Engineers12-5; 3-3 NEWMAC) with 20 points, seven of which came from the free-throw line, on a 6-for-11 afternoon (1-for-4 three-point). Chris Rodgers also finished in double-figures, scoring 16 points, while Sean Doncaster ended the contest with 13. Converse also collected a game-high nine rebounds.
Both teams had a similar day from the floor, with WPI holding a slim advantage in field goal and three-point percentage. The Engineers however held a clear advantage from the charity stripe, hitting 20-of-27 (74.1%), while the Lyons only made 16-of-25 (64.0%). Wheaton collected one more rebound than the hosts (28-to-27), while points on turnovers favored WPI.
After a back and forth open, WPI pulled ahead 12-11 before rattling off a 7-0 run to take a 19-11 lead with 11:10 to go in the opening half. The Engineers continued to push, capturing a double-digit lead that the Lyons would manage to cut to nine before halftime.
Wheaton continued to try and chip away at the deficit throughout the second half, but a jumper by Jamani Spencer with 2:37 remaining handed the Engineers an 80-73 lead. Unfazed, Wheaton rattled off seven of the game's next eight points - highlighted by a DuBrow layup, that fouled out Converse, and a three-pointer from Dale that sliced the lead to 81-80 with just under 30 seconds remaining. The Lyons were forced to foul down the stretch, which benefited the Engineers, who drained all their attempts to secure the win.
Wheaton returns to NEWMAC action on Wednesday, Jan. 25 with a 7 p.m. home game against MIT.