Defense Carries MIT Past Coast Guard, 62-36

Junior Ryan Frankel
Junior Ryan Frankel

NEW LONDON, Conn. – A strong defensive effort that saw MIT hold the U.S. Coast Guard Academy to just 22.8 percent shooting helped carry the Engineers to a 62-36 decision over the Bears in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) in men's basketball action this evening. Junior Ryan Frankel (New York, N.Y.) led MIT with 16 points to help keep the Engineers undefeated in conference play. Junior Kevin Alvarez (Key Biscayne, Fla.) led Coast Guard with eight points.

Coast Guard (5-9, 1-2 NEWMAC) got on the board first in the contest on a pair of free throws by Alvarez. MIT (10-3, 3-0 NEWMAC) came back with a three by Frankel on his first shot of the game, and a pair of layups from senior Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) to take a 7-2 advantage. 

MIT did not score again for nearly six minutes and Coast Guard took advantage, closing to within one a 7-6 when sophomore Adrian Chuquillangui (Manassas, Va.) connected on a layup at 11:17. The Engineers broke out of their scoring slump when senior Andrew Acker (Merion Station, Pa.) converted a three-point play, starting a 12-0 MIT run that ended when senior Dennis Levene (Weston, Conn.) hit a three-pointer that made it 19-6 at the 7:41 mark.

A three-pointer by senior David Anderson (Goose Creek, S.C.) capped off a 9-0 run by Coast Guard that pulled the Bears back within seven at 24-17 with 1:54 left in the half. But Frankel hit his second trey of the half in as many tries to give MIT a 10-point halftime edge.

Redfield scored the first field goal of the second half for MIT, and with Coast Guard missing on its first seven shots of the half, it started 10-0 run that put the Engineers firmly in control. Redfield, who finished with a season-high 14 points, scored six of the run himself and his basket at 15:23 gave MIT a 37-17 lead.

A three by junior Avierre Conner (Avon Park, Fla.) broke the scoring drought for the Bears, but MIT came right back with a 9-0 run, completing the first 10 minutes of the half outscoring Coast Guard by a 19-3 margin in the span. Freshman Spencer Rust (Alamo, Calif.) then scored five straight on a three and a layup to give MIT a 51-22 advantage with eight minutes left. 

Coast Guard then scored seven straight, four by freshman Zach Bradley (Dover, Fla.), but it was too little, too late for the Bears. MIT countered with treys from Rust and senior Nicholas Prus (Arlington Heights, Ill.) as the Engineers went on to claim win number 10 on the season.

MIT shot 46 percent during the contest, including hitting on 9-of-18 three-point attempts. Frankel and Redfield were the only two Engineers in double figures, with Redfield completing his first double-double of the season with 15 rebounds. In addition to leading Coast Guard in scoring, Alvarez also paced the Bears with six rebounds.

MIT will be home for its next game, hosting Springfield College on Saturday starting at 3:00 p.m. Coast Guard will travel to Clark University on Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. contest with the Cougars.