- Score: Eastern Connecticut 86, No. 21 MIT 70
- Records: No. 21 MIT (21-7); Eastern Connecticut (21-8)
- Location: Selinsgrove, Pa. (Houts Gymnasium)
- The Lead: A decisive second-half run by Eastern Connecticut proved to be the difference as the No. 21 ranked MIT men's basketball team dropped an 86-70 final to the Warriors on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Engineers end the season at 21-7 overall, marking the program's ninth 20-win season.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Warriors got out to a quick lead as Hugh Lindo took the opening tip for a dunk and the 2-0 edge. MIT got on the board though on a jumper from senior Tim Butala (Monroe, Conn.) as the Warriors held an early 13-8 advantage heading into the first media timeout at the 15:48 mark of the first. Eastern Connecticut made it a double-digit game at 18-8 with 14:32 on the clock before a quick 8-0 run, capped by a three AJ Jurko (Weston, Fla.), cut the lead down to 18-16.
- MIT tied the game on two occasions in the first half, including at 20-20 with 9:53 left on a dunk from sophomore Bradley Jomard (Paris, France). After four straight points by Lindo eventually made it a 32-24 Eastern Connecticut lead with 3:52 remaining, the Engineers cut the advantage down to four after a Jurko jumper with 2:38 on the clock. The Warriors closed the half on a quick 6-2 run, capped by a three from Tarchee Brown with four seconds left to take the 42-33 advantage into the break.
- In the first half, the Warriors shot 53.3 percent from the field and outscored MIT 15-3 from three-point land. MIT forced six first half Warrior turnovers and outscored Eastern 8-5 at the free throw line. Jurko led the Engineers with 13 first-half points, while Brown posted 18 and Lindo had 10 for the Warriors.
- A Butala three to open the second briefly cut the lead down to six before a Warrior run extended the lead back to double digits. A layup by David Canny gave Eastern a 68-51 lead before the Engineers used four points from sophomore Tim Roberts (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) to cut the lead to 73-60 at the 6:36 mark. An 8-3 spurt made it an 18-point game as the Warriors sealed the win to advance to the second round. The last seven points of the game for MIT came from freshman Aidan Einloth (Grayslake, Ill.) as the Engineers fell by the 86-70 final.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Jurko led the Engineers with a 19-point effort, while Jomard and Roberts each posted 11 points. For Eastern, Brown led four players in double figures with 22 points to go along with a 21-point, 12-rebound double-double from Lindo. Tyrell Arnum added 15 points and Canny finished with 12 points.
- The Warriors outrebounded the Engineers 40-30 overall, while MIT forced 14 turnovers for the game. Eastern Connecticut shot 56.4 percent from the field, along with 42.9 percent from three. MIT was 17-for-21 from the free throw line and finished the game with 16 assists on 24 field goals.