CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT saw its men's basketball team open the 2013-14 season tonight with a 68-52 victory over Lesley University. The Engineers took their first lead in the game two minutes in and never trailed again and were led by sophomore Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) who hit seven three pointers on his way to a career-high 23 points.
Junior Justin Rosa (East Brunswick, N.J.) gave Lesley (0-1) an early lead when he stole the ball and drove the length of the court for a layup. MIT (1-0), which won its season opener for the sixth straight year, came right back to tie the game on a pair of free throws by junior Andrew Acker (Merion Station, Pa.) before taking the lead on Pedley's first trey of the night.
Lesley tied things up again at 10-all five minutes in on a layup by junior Nikalus Oliver (Pembroke Pines, N.C.), but it would prove to be as close as the Lynx would get for the rest of the game. The two teams stayed close for the next five minutes; with Oliver bringing Lesley back to within a point with a dunk at the 10:10 mark. MIT then found the mark from three-point range, going on an 11-0 run that saw Pedley and freshman Dakota Pierce (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) hit a pair of treys as the Engineers took a 29-14 lead just four minutes later.
MIT continued to slowly inch away, with Acker, who had 14 first half rebounds, grabbing a pair of offensive boards on one possession and putting back his own miss for a 36-17 lead. The lead remained at 19 at the half when Pedley sank his fifth trey as time expired.
Acker extended the MIT lead to 23 points early in the second half, grabbing another offensive board and putting it back in for a 47-24 edge with 16:48 left. Lesley could not come up with a run early on in the half and the Engineers pushed the lead even higher, going up 59-32 midway through the half on a driving layup by sophomore Ryan Frankel (New York, N.Y.).
Lesley then turned to the press to get back in the game and the Lynx forced a number of turnovers that allowed them to start to eat away at the Engineers lead. After Frankel's basket sophomore Brian Glodowski (Roseville, Calif.) hit a three-pointer before Lesley forced a turnover that led to a layup by senior Kris Bennett (Inglewood, Calif.) to quickly shave five points off the MIT lead.
Glodowski's basket wound up sparking a late run by Lesley, which held the Engineers to just one basket and a pair of free throws over a nearly eight-minute span with it's pressure defense. Glodowski scored seven points and senior Mike Kaufman (Boca Raton, Fla.) hit a pair of threes in the span that saw the Lynx outscore the Engineers, 20-4. With 2:13 left a steal by freshman Max McCoy (Simi Valley, Calif.) led to a layup by sophomore Branden Padgett (New Baltimore, Mich.) that cut the MIT lead to 63-52.
That was the last field goal that Lesley would hit, however, as MIT hit five of six free throws down the stretch to complete the win. Pedley was the only Engineer in double figures in the scoring column, with Acker just missing a double-double with nine points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Rosa and Glodowski each had 10 points to lead Lesley, with Oliver pulling down nine rebounds.
Lesley held a slight 40-38 percent edge in shooting, but the Engineers held a commanding 49-27 advantage on the boards.
MIT will play again next Tuesday, Nov. 19 when it hosts Gordon College at 7 p.m. Lesley will play again next Tuesday as well, staying on the road to take on Endicott at 7 p.m.