No. 19 MIT Stunned at Home by Bridgewater State, 82-70
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Nicholas Motta poured in 24 second-half points and Bridgewater State pressured MIT into 27 turnovers during an 82-70 win for the visiting Bears in non-conference men's basketball action on Monday night at Rockwell Cage. The Bears (6-4) scored 52 points over the final 20 minutes to hand the No. 19 ranked team in Division III its second straight defeat. Mitchell Kates and Jamie Karraker combined for 44 points for the Engineers, but they could not overcome the swarming Bridgewater defense, falling to 9-3 on the year.
Trailing by eight with five and a half to go, Kates and Karraker went on their own 7-0 run over the next 1:05 to bring the Cardinal and Gray back within one. Karraker started with a three-ball and Kates added a pair of free throws and a driving lay-up to close the gap to 65-64 with 4:33 remaining. Motta would answer back with a running jumper in the paint and Billy Bender was unable to connect from long-distance at the other end. Another basket by Motta and a three-pointer from Corey Connor extended the visitors lead to eight with 2:38 to go. Karraker had one final look from three but was off the mark and Will Tashman was unable to save the loose ball rebound. Motta's trifecta on the ensuing possession would seal the Engineers' fate.
With MIT leading by nine early in the second half, Motta single-handedly accounted for 10 points during a 14-3 Bridgewater run, capping the spurt with a three-pointer at 14:32, giving the Bears a 48-46 advantage. The teams would trade baskets over the next five and a half minutes, with a Will Tashman foul shot putting Tech on top, 53-52, with just under nine minutes to go. However, Corey Connor responded with one of his five triples on the night to give Bridgewater State a lead it would not relinquish.
Kates paced MIT with 24 points, on eight-of-12 shooting and four assists while Karraker hit four three-pointers on his way to a 20-point effort. Tashman led the way with 14 rebounds.
The Engineers shot well from the field when they were able to get past the Bridgewater State press. Tech connected on 53.3% of its attempts, including nine-of-17 from behind the arc. However, its 27 turnovers led to 24 Bridgewater State points.
Motta finished with 26 points and Connor had 20 points. Samuel Johnson had eight points to go along with a team-high 14 boards.
MIT will look to bounce back on Wednesday, January 5 when it hosts Tufts University at 8:00 p.m. Bridgewater State returns to action Saturday, January 8, opening up conference-play with a home game against Westfield State at 4:00 p.m.