Saturday, January 30, 2010

MIT Sweeps WPI, Now at 18-2

Strong shooting down the stretch secured a 74-66 win for MIT at WPI this afternoon. MIT was led with 21 points by Noel Hollingsworth (9-13 FG), 16 points from Mitchell Kates, 15 points by Jimmy Burke (4-5 FG, 3-4 3FG), and 12 from Billy Bender. The team shot exceptionally for the game (26-45 FG, 58%), especially from three point land (9-16, 60%), and the free throw line (13-15). This marks the first time in 7 years that MIT has swept the regular season series against WPI.

The game started out very competitive, MIT rushed out to an early 6-2 lead, but WPI responded with an 8-0 run of their own to take a 10-6 advantage five minutes into the game. Both teams continued to trade baskets for the next few minutes, until MIT went on a 6-0 run to take the lead 19-14 at the 10 minute mark. WPI immediately responded with a run of their own and tied the game at 19-19 in less than one minute of play. The teams continued going back and forth the rest of the half, MIT again pushed the lead to 5 with under five minutes to play only to see WPI tie it again with less than a minute to go in the half. Mitch Kates would make a runner on MIT's last posession to send MIT up two at the half, 32-30.

MIT started the half by stretching their lead to 7 about three minutes in, but they still could not shake WPI. A conventional three-point play followed by a three-pointer by WPI cut the MIT lead to 1 in just 35 seconds, 41-40. MIT would quickly regain the momentum, however, going on a 13-2 run, 8 of which came from point guard Mitchell Kates, to stretch the lead to 54-42 about half-way through the second half. WPI again went on a spurt, scoring 7 straight points in 1.5 minutes to cut the MIT lead to 5. Both teams battled for the next seven minutes, with MIT's lead fluctuating between 5 and 10 points, until WPI went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 3, 64-67, with under 1 minute to play. On their next posession, MIT went to their bread-and-butter in the post and were rewarded with a layup by Noel Hollingsworth to push the lead to 5. MIT would make their free throws from their to close out the game, winning 74-66.

MIT improves to 18-2, and 6-1 in NEWMAC play, with the win. They currently sit atop the NEWMAC standings by 1 game and are ranked #14 nationally in the latest poll. MIT hosts Babson next Wednesday at 7:00 PM in Rockwell Cage.