CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 10 ranked MIT men's basketball team took on crosstown rival Harvard University on Friday night, falling 76-49 to the Crimson in their season opener. The game counts as an exhibition contest for the Engineers, whose season officially begins on Tuesday night. Will Tashman (Atherton, Calif.) paced the squad with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. In his first game back from a shoulder injury that cost him most of the 2010-11 campaign, Noel Hollingsworth (Salt Lake City, Utah) poured in 10 points and collected four caroms.
The Engineers got off to a good start, matching the Crimson 4-4 over the game's first four minutes. A 5-0 Harvard run put the hosts up 9-4 entering the first media timeout. Billy Bender's (The Woodlands, Texas) three-pointer and a Tashman jumper tied things back up at nine before Harvard was able to take advantage of some MIT turnovers to pull ahead midway through the period. The Crimson used runs of 8-0 and 12-2 to take a 33-16 lead with under four minutes to play in the half before going into the locker room up 37-22.
In the second half, the Cardinal and Gray was able to cut down on its turnovers but Harvard continued to pull away, thanks to the inside presence of Keith Wright (Suffolk, Va.) and Kyle Casey (Medway, Mass.), who combined for 24 points on the night.
MIT shot 46.3% (19-41) on the night while making three-of-11 shots from long range. The Engineers out-rebounded Harvard 31-23 but were done in by their 22 turnovers.
Mitchell Kates (Colts Neck, N.J.) had eight points to go along with three rebounds and three assists. Bender added seven for the Cardinal and Gray.
Tech opens regular season play on Tuesday, November 15 on the road against Curry College at 8:00 p.m. The Engineers home opener will come two nights later, Thursday, November 18, against Gordon College.