CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In what has become a tradition over the last few years, the MIT men's basketball team traveled just down the street to take on Harvard in a beginning of the season matchup. In a contest that is an exhibition on the Engineers schedule and a regular season game on the Crimson's, Harvard took advantage of its experience and athleticism early on and cruised to a 79-37 victory. Junior Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) led MIT with 14 points and nine rebounds.
MIT, which had three new starters in its lineup from last season, fell behind 6-0 early on to Harvard (2-0) after Kyle Casey dropped in a layup less than two minutes in. On MIT's next possession Redfield grabbed a missed three-point attempt from sophomore Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) and laid it back in to put the Engineers first points on the board.
Poor shooting plagued both teams early on and Harvard could not pull away from MIT, which saw junior Paul Dawson (Stone Mountain, Ga.) and Redfield hit back-to-back shots that had the Engineers within five at 11-6 five minutes in. MIT continued to keep the Crimson's lead under 10 points over the next five minutes and a trey by sophomore Russell Johnson (New York, N.Y.) at the 10:18 mark that left MIT trailing by six at 17-11.
Harvard pushed its advantage to 10 points two minutes later when Siyani Chambers hit a jump shot that made it 21-11. Turnovers hampered MIT for the rest of the half as the Crimson went on to outscore the Engineers 20-3 to take a 41-14 halftime advantage. Harvard scored 19 points off of 14 MIT turnovers as they built the 27-point bulge.
Over the first seven and a half minutes of the second half Harvard continued to feed off of MIT miscues and built a 57-17 lead on a layup by Zena Edosomwan. Redfield came on in the final 11:30 of the game for the Engineers, scoring 10 points over a five-minute stretch that was highlighted by a dunk with 10 minutes to go. Freshman Dakota Pierce (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) hit a trey in the last 10 minutes and combined with Redfield to score 15 of 17 for MIT over a seven and a half minute stretch.
Turnovers caused problems for MIT all night, however, as Harvard scored a total of 35 points off of 29 miscues by the Engineers. The Crimson also used their athleticism to their advantage under the basket, scoring 42 points in the paint. MIT held their own on the boards, with Harvard taking just a 37-33 advantage there. The Crimson wound up shooting 46 percent for the game while holding the Engineers to 28 percent.
Harvard placed three players in double figures, led by Wesley Saunders with 14. Edosomwan added 13 points, while Casey finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Crimson. Dawson had the next highest scoring total for MIT, finishing with six points and a pair of assists.
MIT will open the 2013-14 season on Friday, November 15 when it hosts Lesley University in Rockwell Cage at 7:00 p.m.