Men's Basketball Tops Emmanuel, 68-54, In Season Opener

Release Courtesy of Emmanuel College Sports Information

BOSTON, Mass. - The Emmanuel College Men's Basketball Team dropped the season opener to the visiting Engineers of MIT by a 68-54 margin.  MIT had three players scoring in double figures, led by Billy Johnson's game-high 18 points.  This was the Engineers' third-straight win over the Saints and their fourth win out of the five all-time meetings.  Emmanuel was led by sophomore forward Isaiah Duke's 13 points.

The first half was evenly matched in the early going.  The first period featured 10 lead changes and 7 ties with MIT holding a 3-point edge at 31-28 at the break.  For the Saints, senior point guard Mike Jackson dished out 6 assists, while Duke dropped 9 points in the first twenty minutes of play.  The Engineers were paced by Johnson's 10 first-half points, including 2 three-pointers.

MIT did not relinquish the lead in the second stanza and stretched the margin to as many as 15 points late in the game. Strong rebounding was key for the Engineers, as they held a 48-31 advantage on the boards and scored 14 second-chance points, making up the difference in the game.

Both tams shot poorly from the line, with the Engineers going 11 for 21 and the Saints 10 for 17. The two squads were also plagued by turnovers, as MIT collected 23 and Emmanuel 22 in the season opener for both teams.

Johnson led three players in double figures for the Engineers, scoring 18 points to go along with his 7 rebounds and 2 steals.  Sophomore forward Noel Hollingsworth recorded a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 11 boards. Rookie point guard Mitchell Kates chipped in with 14 points, 4 assists and 3 steals in the win.

Duke finished with 13 points for the Saints, while junior guard Tony Carter-Hill added 11 points on 5 for 9 shooting.  Freshman guard Xavier Everson hit for 8 points and hauled in 6 rebounds in his collegiate debut, while sophomore forward Eric Spanbauer chipped in with 4 points, 4 assists and 5 rebounds.

The 1-0 Engineers will play John Abbott College on Friday, November 20 in RPI's Invitational Tournament.  Emmanuel (0-1) plays next on Tuesday, hosting the neighboring Wildcats of Wheelock College at 6pm.