CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The nationally-ranked No. 20 MIT men's basketball team used a 15-3 run to end the first half and eventually held on for a 61-53 win over visiting Newbury College in Rockwell Cage Thursday night. Freshman Will Dickson paced the Engineers with a career high 18 points while Mitchell Kates had a strong all-around effort, as the Cardinal and Gray improved to 5-1 on the season. John Rowley Jr. was the high scorer for the Nighthawks, who fell to 0-6 with the loss.
Newbury jumped on the Cardinal and Gray early, turning an eight-all tie into a nine point advantage early on. The Newbury defense pressured MIT from the start forcing seven Tech turnovers in the first eight minutes of the game and scoring six fast-break points during an 11-2 run. The Nighthawks' lead swelled to as many as 11 after a pair of free throws by Rowley with just over seven minutes to go in the frame.
However, the Engineers quickly came alive, outscoring the visitors by 12 over the final three minutes of the half. Back-to-back three-pointers by Jamie Karraker and Billy Bender brought MIT back within two and Kates gave his team the lead for good with a steal and layup with 35 seconds to go. Bender closed the period with a pair from the foul line, as MIT took a 38-34 advantage into the break.
Dickson started the second with consecutive jumpers to put Tech up eight. Dickson and Will Tashman would then extend the lead with their own personal 8-3 run over a seven-minute stretch. Newbury would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way, as the Cardinal and Gray held on for the win.
Dickson added six boards and three assists to his game-high 18. Kates filled the boxscore with eight points, eight boards, six assists and four steals. Tashman had 15 points and Karraker knocked down three shots from long range to finish with nine.
Rowley had 16 points for Newbury in addition to eight caroms. Peterson Bernard finished with nine points and nine rebounds in the losing effort.
MIT will travel to Gordon College on Saturday, December 4 for a 3:00 p.m. contest. The Nighthawks will play at Curry College on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.