- Score: MIT 68, WPI 66 (OT)
- Records: MIT (17-5, 9-2 NEWMAC); WPI (14-8, 5-6 NEWMAC)
- Location: Worcester, Mass. (Harrington Auditorium)
- The Lead: In a back-and-forth contest on Wednesday night, the MIT men's basketball team clinched the sweep of the regular-season series as the Engineers defeated WPI by a 68-66 final in overtime. MIT is receiving votes for the second straight week in the D3hoops.com National Poll.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- MIT's Bradley Jomard (Paris, France) started the scoring with a runner down the lane before WPI countered with an 8-0 run for the 8-2 advantage with 16:17 on the clock. A three from Chris Rodgers capped the run before MIT answered with a scoring spurt of its own to regain the lead. The visitor run was fueled by four three-pointers over less than two minutes, including three from senior Tim Butala (Monroe, Conn.), as MIT jumped out to the 14-8 advantage with 12:52 left in the half.
- Both teams were relatively quiet on offense for the next 10 minutes as WPI chipped away and eventually tied the game at 18-18 with 3:30 left on a corner three from Dave Zielinski. A putback from Aaron Todd put the hosts in front at 20-18 at the 2:44 mark before the Engineers eventually took a 24-23 lead over MIT into the halftime break.
- MIT held WPI to just 25.8 percent shooting from the field in the first half, while MIT shot 45.5 percent from three in the period (5-for-11).
- MIT used two quick baskets to open the second half before WPI came back with an 11-2 run for the 35-30 advantage with 16:31 left. A pair of three-pointers fueled the run, which forced an MIT full timeout. The WPI lead swelled to seven at 42-35 after four straight points from Ian Converse before Butala's free throw stopped the scoring surge.
- The visitors eventually tied the game by forcing a trio of turnovers, including a steal by Jomard that he converted into a layup at the other end for the 42-42 score with 10:52 remaining. MIT kept up the defensive pressure and turned that into points, including a dunk off a steal by sophomore Tim Roberts (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) that gave the visitors a 53-45 lead with 5:51 on the clock.
- MIT held a 57-52 lead with 28.2 left after a layup from junior Spencer Rust (Alamo, Calif.) before the hosts rallied to force overtime. After Rodgers knocked down a corner three to make it a two-point game, MIT missed the front end of a 1-and-1 to give WPI a chance. Zielinski converted that chance as he knocked down a runner off the glass with 1.1 seconds left to force overtime.
- In overtime, the teams traded the lead before a three from Cameron Korb (Los Gatos, Calif.) put MIT in front for good at 62-61. Free throws were key for MIT to seal the win, including one from Jomard that made it 67-61. A block from Rust, his sixth of the game, gave the Engineers the ball to send Jomard to the stripe. Connor Willgress nailed a three for WPI with just 0.6 seconds left, but that was not enough in the 68-66 final.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Butala led three Engineers in double figures with 20 points, while Korb added 16 and AJ Jurko (Weston, Fla.) posted 12. Rust finished with a game-high six blocks, while Jomard had nine rebounds.
- WPI was led by 18 from Rodgers, also with Doncaster's 12 points and Todd's 12-point, 10-rebound double-double. WPI outscored the Engineers 36-27 from three-point land, while MIT held a 15-6 scoring advantage at the free throw line.
- MIT forced 20 WPI turnovers and had 13 steals to go along with 10 blocks as a team. WPI held a 40-34 rebounding advantage, including 15-8 on the offensive glass.
- MIT is back in action on Saturday, February 11th as the Engineers host Wheaton College for a 3 p.m. start at Rockwell Cage.