Worcester, Mass. - Noel Hollingsworth led all
players with 21 points to pace nationally-ranked MIT to a
hard-fought 74-66 victory over host WPI in a NEWMAC men's
basketball contest on Saturday afternoon. With the result,
MIT boosts its record to 18-2 overall and 6-1 in conference
play. WPI is now 14-5 on the season and 3-4 in NEWMAC
After WPI had rattled off six straight points to draw within three at 67-64 with just under a minute remaining, Hollingsworth calmly drained a layup to beat the shot clock with 25 seconds left and the visitors canned 5-of-6 free throws in the final 20 seconds to secure the win.
MIT, ranked 14th in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25, connected on a season-best 60% of its 3-pointers (9-15). Mitchell Kates filled the stat sheets with 16 points to go along with three rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Billy Bender added 12 points. Guard Jimmy Burke came off the bench and nailed a trio of 3-pointers as well as a conventional 3-point play. The freshman's 15 points were more than the rest of the reserves from both teams combined on the day (14).
Jeffrey Robinson tallied 18 points to highlight four players in double figures for WPI. Jerome Stewart and Kyle Nadeau each tossed in 12 points for Worcester's Engineers while Ben Etten chipped in with 11.
Nadeau registered all five of WPI's assists and added a game-high five steals while Stewart, who notched his season-best in points, shared game-high rebounding honors with Etten and Fernando Perez with six. On the day, WPI enjoyed a 30-18 edge on the glass.
The first half featured nine lead changes, five ties and some impressive 3-point shooting. WPI drained 3-of-5 trifectas while MIT drained 5-of-10 from downtown en route to taking a 32-30 advantage into the locker room at the break.
WPI is off until next Saturday when they host Wheaton at 1pm. MIT begins a three-game home stand on Wednesday, hosting Babson at 7pm.