Men's Basketball Escapes Road Test at Salem State

SALEM, Mass. -- Mitchell Kates hit two free throws with 5.6 seconds remaining, and Justin Nieves' runner in the lane fell short, as the MIT Engineers held off Salem State 76-75 Thursday night at James Twohig Gymnasium. The 21st-ranked Engineers improved to 8-1 on the season, while the Vikings fell to 3-3.

SSU trailed by seven at halftime, 41-34, but used a 17-5 run to take a brief 51-49 lead. Tavone Wydner's three-pointer with 14:32 remaining gave the Vikings their first lead since the 11-minute mark of the first half. The teams traded baskets over the next six minutes, and with MIT leading 61-59, Noel Hollingsworth hit a three-pointer to give the Engineers a five-point lead.

MIT's advantage was still five, 74-69, with two minutes remaining, but the Vikings stormed back with six straight points – two free throws each by Brennan Bennett and Nate Simpson, and a jumper by Apollos Wade – to take a 75-74 lead with 20 seconds remaining. On the Engineers ensuing possession, Will Tashman missed a jumper from the corner, but Kates snared the rebound and was fouled by Wade in the process. Both of Kate's free throws hit the back iron, but both fell through to give the Engineers the win.

Kates led all scorers with 22 points. He had 18 in the first half, hitting five of his first six three-point attempts. Hollingsworth added 18, while Jamie Karraker had 17. MIT shot a blistering 55% (12-22) from three-point range. The Engineers were just 15-40 (38%) on two-pointers.

Wydner led the Vikings with 19 points, including 5-7 from three-point range. Simpson had 17 to go along with a team-high 10 rebounds, and Brian Clark added 15.

The Vikings are off for the Christmas break before returning to action on December 28 when they host Regis College in the Salem State Holiday Classic. MIT visits Lesley College on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

Courtesy of Salem State University Sports Information