CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior James Burke (Scotch Plains, N.J.) scored a career-high 24 points and senior Will Tashman (Atherton, Calif.) added 23 to lead the MIT men's basketball team to an 83-45 win over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy this evening. In the first home New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference game of the season for the Engineers they were nearly unstoppable, shooting 70 percent from the floor, including hitting on 10 of 14 three-point attempts.
Coast Guard (1-11, 0-3 NEWMAC) drew first blood in the contest when senior Jimmy Knudsen (Ridge, N.Y.) drained a three on the Bears first shot of the game. MIT (11-3, 2-1 NEWMAC) came back using the inside game of sophomore Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) who scored six points of an 8-0 run by the Engineers that put them up 8-3 at the 17:12 mark.
Knudsen brought Coast Guard back within four at 10-6 on a jumper, but it would be as close as the Bears would get for the rest of the game as the MIT offense clicked into high gear. Tashman led the next surge for the Engineers; dropping in six points over a four minute span that resulted in an 11-0 MIT run that made it 21-6 with 11:44 left in the half.
Burke hit three three-point shots over the final 10 minutes of the half and Tashman added seven more points in the stretch as MIT continued to build its advantage. Coast Guard could not come up with a sustained run to put a dent into the Engineers lead and in the final minute of the half Burke hit a three and Tashman a free throw that put MIT up 49-25.
Hot outside shooting from Burke continued in the opening minutes of the second stanza he hit on his first three attempts in the first five minutes as MIT opened up a 66-31 cushion. It was just too big a deficit for Coast Guard to overcome. With the MIT defense holding the Bears to 36 percent shooting and just one three-point shot in the second half, Coast Guard could not make a dent in the Engineers lead for the rest of the game.
Burke, who hit 5-of-10 three-point attempts in his last outing, continued his torrid outside shooting against the Bears, hitting on eight of his nine attempts to account for all of his points. In addition to his 23 points, Tashman also led all players with nine rebounds to help MIT to a 31-23 edge on the boards. Redfield finished with 15 points and Kates added 11, with both players dishing out five assists.
Knudsen led Coast Guard with 13 points, with freshman Ryan McNeil (Plymouth, Ind.) also reaching double figures for the Bears with 10 points. NcNeil and sophomore Will Doyle (Clifton, Va.) each had four rebounds to lead Coast Guard.
MIT will continue at home in its next game, hosting Babson College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in a NEWMAC matchup. Coast Guard will play a conference game at home on Saturday as well, hosting Clark University at 1:00 p.m.