No. 8 Engineers Earn 96-91 Overtime Home Win Over Wheaton

No. 8 Engineers Earn 96-91 Overtime Home Win Over Wheaton

THE BASICS:

- Records: No. 8 MIT (18-3, 8-2 NEWMAC); Wheaton (12-9, 4-6 NEWMAC)

- Score: No. 8 MIT 96, Wheaton 91 (OT)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: Led by a 29-point, 11-assist, eight-rebound outing from junior AJ Jurko (Weston, Fla.), the No. 8 ranked MIT men's basketball team came away with a 96-91 overtime win over Wheaton College on Saturday afternoon at Rockwell Cage.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- The Engineers pulled out to an early 18-9 lead following a three-pointer from Nacho Nwana (White Plains, N.Y.) before a quick 9-0 Wheaton run tied the game at 18 just 2:03 later. MIT was in control over the rest of the first half however, heading into the halftime break leading 42-32 after Jurko threw in a long jumper at the buzzer. The Engineers knocked down eight three-pointers over the first 20 minutes to lead the offense that shot 50 percent overall from the field in that half. 

- Junior Cameron Korb (Los Gatos, Calif.) led MIT with 12 points in the first half, while Ryan Fogarty was the top Wheaton scorer with 16 behind 5-for-6 shooting from three.

- In the second half, MIT led by as many as 14 early on before the Lyons rallied and tied the game at 66-66 on a Riley Tetreault three-pointer with 6:29 on the clock. A three from Dakota Pierce (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) and a three-point play from Jurko put the Engineers back up six before Wheaton countered with six straight points from Fogarty to tie the game again.

- MIT took a three-point advantage at 78-75 with under a minute left on a layup from freshman Ian Hinkley (Raleigh, N.C.) before Liam Bruno answered for the visitors with a triple from the corner. Wheaton ended up with the ball once more, calling timeout with 15.3 seconds left to draw up the potential game-winning play. The Engineer defense stood strong though, forcing a Lyons pass out of bounds as the clock expired. 

- In overtime, Bruno scored on a layup off the opening tip as Tetreault found him cutting to the basket for the 80-78 edge. The two teams traded the lead back and forth until a Hinkley three with 1:58 remaining put MIT in front for good at 90-89. Jurko converted a three-point play with 44.7 left, along with two free throws with 14.4 remaining to seal the victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Jurko came up just two rebounds short of his first career triple-double as he finished with a season-high 29 points to go along with 11 assists and eight boards as he played all 45 minutes. Junior Tim Roberts (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) finished with an 11-point, 14-rebound performance as he also had six assists in 43 minutes. Hinkley had 16 points behind four three-pointers, along with 12 each from Korb and Hamilton Forsythe (Weston, Conn.) and 11 from Pierce.

- For the Lyons, Fogarty was outstanding as he finished with a game-high 34 points on 7-for-12 shooting from three and 7-for-8 at the free throw line. Duaka Ekwensi added 18 points as well and Bruno finished with 16 points and three assists. 

- The two teams combined for 28 three-pointers and were even at 32-32 in points in the paint, while the MIT bench outscored the Lyons 27-8. The Engineers also held a slight 34-19 edge in rebounding, including 14-7 on the offensive glass.

- The No. 8 ranking is the highest for the Engineers this season as the team rose four spots from last week's No. 12 position. This is also the program's highest ranking since week 1 of the 2012-2013 season, when MIT was ranked No. 1 in the nation. 

UP NEXT:

- MIT returns to action on Wednesday, February 7th as the Engineers travel to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for a 7:30 p.m. start.

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