CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Senior co-captain Billy Johnson scored a season-high 20 points, including five three-pointers, while Noel Hollingsworth added a double-double of 15 points and 13 boards to help MIT down Suffolk, 85-50, in non-conference men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Rockwell Cage. Johnson and his teammates combined to shoot 14-30 from beyond the arc and held a 55-30 edge in rebounding, as MIT improved to 5-0. The Engineers were playing in their first home-game since their memorable run into the NCAA Division III Tournament a year ago. The loss was the first of the season for Suffolk, which falls to 4-1.
The Cardinal and Grey jumped out to a quick, 15-3 lead over the game's first five minutes, keyed by a pair of Johnson trifectas and seven forced turnovers. MIT was able to convert those miscues into 11 points during that sequence. Suffolk would try to cut into the lead over the next nine and a half minutes, getting as close as four after a pair of free throws by Sam Hutchins with 6:07 left. However, the Engineers quickly responded with a game-changing, 21-0 run over a 5:08 stretch, including five consecutive three-balls at one point, as their advantage swelled to 41-16. Johnson and Mitchell Kates were the main catalysts of the run, combining to score or assist on five of the six field goals, to help send MIT into the break up 42-17.
The two teams traded baskets early in the second stanza. Jimmy Burke drained a pair of his four triples in the first 3:27 while Matt Pepdjonovic converted a traditional three-point play to get the margin down to 31 with 15:36 remaining. That would be as close as the Rams would get, however, as Johnson responded with five straight points to send the Cardinal and Grey on its way to the win.
Burke was one of three MIT players to finish in double-figures with 12. Will Tashman had a career-high 13 rebounds to go along with four points. Kates scored nine and added seven assists and four caroms. Luke Barrett paced the Rams with 14 points while Pepdjonovic and Mike Gibbons each tallied 13.
MIT held Suffolk to 31% shooting to win for the fifth-straight time against its local rivals. The two teams have squared off in each season since 1971, with Tech holding 25-16 edge in the series.
Tech will travel across the river to Emerson College on Tuesday, December 1 for a 5:30 p.m. start. Suffolk hosts UMass-Boston on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.