BROOKLINE, Mass. – Thanks in part to some strong, second-half three-point shooting from sophomores Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) and Ryan Frankel (New York, N.Y.), MIT broke open a close game and went on to take a 71-53 win over Newbury College in a non-conference men's basketball game. Pedley finished with 20 points while Frankel tossed in a career-high 17 to lead the Engineers to the victory.
Junior Andrew Acker (Merion Station, Pa.) scored the first points of the game for MIT (7-2), but it was Newbury (0-9) that had the upper hand early on. After Acker's basket the Nighthawks got back-to-back three pointers from Christian Sheridan to take a 6-2 lead. Junior Dennis Levene (Weston, Conn.) put MIT back on top, 8-6, with a layup at 13:21, but Ceejae Carter answered with another three for Newbury.
Carter ended up scoring seven consecutive points for the Nighthawks, igniting an 8-2 run that saw Newbury pull out to a 17-10 advantage after a layup by Eric Watson midway through the half. MIT answered with a run of its own and regained the lead on another Acker bucket with 6:53 left. Acker and Levene accounted for nine points of an 11-0 run that put the Engineers up by four with 5:48 left.
Newbury saw Devin Johnson hit a trey to halt the run and cut the deficit down to a point, but the Nighthawks could not get closer than that the rest of the half. Pedley answered with a trey of his own to push the lead back to four and a three by Levene as the period ended gave the Engineers their biggest lead of the night at 34-26.
After the two teams traded baskets in the opening minutes of the second half, MIT got consecutive three-pointers from Frankel, Pedley, and Frankel again in a minute and a half span that gave the Engineers a 17-point bulge with 16 minutes to play.
Newbury could not recover from the three-point barrage and the Engineers built their lead to 23 points at 63-37 after Pedley hit on a layup with 6:48 left. The closest the Nighthawks could get after that was 16 points after a Carter layup, but with just a minute left it was too little, too late as MIT cruised to its fourth straight victory.
Frankel also added a career best five assists for the Engineers, who shot 52 percent from the field, including 50 percent from behind the arc. Levene also set career-highs for MIT with his 13 points and five assists, completing a double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds. Acker also posted a double-double for the Engineers with 14 points and 10 boards. Sheridan was the only Nighthawk to reach double figures, finishing with 12 points.
MIT will host Wheelock College on Saturday, December 14 at 7:00 p.m. in its final game prior to the break for finals and the holidays. Newbury will not play again until after the first of the year when it will host Tufts University at 1:00 p.m. on January 4.