Second-Half Rally Falls Short in 74-71 Road Setback

Second-Half Rally Falls Short in 74-71 Road Setback

THE BASICS:

- Records: No. 12 MIT (18-4, 8-3 NEWMAC); U.S. Coast Guard Academy (10-10, 2-9 NEWMAC)

- Score: U.S. Coast Guard Academy 74, No. 12 MIT 71

- Location: New London, Conn. (Roland Hall)

- The Lead: Trailing by a 15-point margin in the second half, No. 12 MIT rallied late in the game to pull within one point before the Engineers dropped an eventual 74-71 final to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Thursday night in NEWMAC action.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- After a 4-0 start by the Bears, freshman Hamilton Forsythe (Weston, Conn.) got the Engineers on the board with a finger roll in the early moments. The teams traded the lead, including on a three from freshman Ian Hinkley (Raleigh, N.C.) that put MIT up 9-8, but it was Coast Guard that led 25-18 with 6:31 left after a three from Packy Witkowski.

- MIT answered with a 5-0 run that included a corner three from Hinkley late in the shot clock before the Bears continued to hold a 29-23 edge following a pair of Sean Graytok free throws at the 4:40 mark. The Engineers eventually trailed by just one at 35-34 at the halftime break as sophomore Aidan Einloth (Grayslake, Ill.) knocked down a quick three-pointer with 23 seconds remaining.

- The Engineers shot 41.9 percent from the field in the first half, while the Bears were hitting at 46.2 percent clip. Both teams shot 83.3 percent from the free throw line, while the MIT bench outscored the hosts 22-6 in the period.

- The Bears came out firing to start the second half on an 11-0 run before MIT's Nacho Nwana (White Plains, N.Y.) halted the run with a pair of free throws with 16:50 on the clock. The Engineers cut into the lead and made it a 56-49 game on a hoop from Dakota Pierce (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), but it was the Bears that continued to hold a 63-51 edge on a corner three by Graytok with 9:14 remaining.

- MIT countered with an 11-1 run behind two Hinkley threes to make it a 64-62 game at the 6:12 mark and eventually cut the edge down to one at 68-67 at 3:48. The Bears stretched the lead back to 72-67 following a free throw from Noah Baldez before two free throws from Pierce and two from junior Tim Roberts (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) made it a 72-71 game with 49 seconds on the clock.

- Witkowski hit two free throws to push the lead to 74-71 and after an MIT turnover, the Bears were fouled late with the game within one possession. Luke Daniels missed the free throw with a second left and after Forsythe pulled down the rebound, his full-court heave at the buzzer hit the front of the rim as the Engineers fell by the three-point final.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:  

- Hinkley paced MIT with 19 points off the bench behind 5-for-10 shooting from three, while Einloth finished with 12. Roberts and Forsythe also added 10 points each as MIT shot 41.1 percent from the field for the game and hit 19-of-22 free throws.

- Witkowski was outstanding with a 30-point effort on five three-pointers, along with 21 points by Baldez as he finished with five rebounds and four assists. Overall, Coast Guard shot 43.9 percent from the field and hit six three-pointers.

- The No. 12 national ranking is down four spots from last week as the Engineers are also ranked No. 8 in the first NCAA Northeast Regional Rankings which were released on Wednesday.

UP NEXT:

- MIT returns to action on Saturday, February 10th as the Engineers travel to Springfield College for a 3 p.m. start.

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