Jan. 3, 2006
Tufts University Sports Information Office
MEDFORD, Mass. - Senior tri-captain Dan Martin scored 10 of his 17 points in the second half as the Tufts University men's basketball team overcame a 10-point deficit and held on for a 66-61 victory against MIT in a good battle between local rivals at Cousens Gym on Tuesday night.
Leading 29-26 at the half, the visiting Engineers (7-2) opened the second half with a 9-2 run in the first three minutes to take a 38-28 lead on a three-pointer by Jimmy Barlotta. MIT held the lead until a 6-0 spurt by Tufts (8-2) put the hosts up 44-43 on a lay-up by junior Dacson Sears at the 10-minute mark.
Another Barlotta three tied the game at 46-46 with 8:33 on the clock, but the Jumbos spurted again with seven straight points for a 53-46 advantage on a lay-up by sophomore Ryan OKeefe at 5:45. The final five minutes would be tight, as MIT twice pulled within two points and three times were within three points. The Jumbos would not surrender the lead, making five free throws in the final 95 seconds to lock it down.
MIT had come out on top of a back-and-forth first half that saw eight ties. Senior quad-captain Mike D'Auria scored 13 points in the first 20 minutes, including four late free throws that gave the Engineers the lead at the break. Junior tri-captain David Shepherd led Tufts with eight points at the half.
Tufts improved to 8-2 overall with its eighth win in the last nine games. Martin added 13 rebounds and five blocks, while Shepherd submitted 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. O'Keefe scored 12 points, while sophomore guard Jeremy Black was solid with seven points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Tufts, which won despite shooting 32.3 percent from the floor (20/62), had a 45-37 edge on the boards. MIT shot even worse, making just 16 baskets in the game on 53 attempts for a 30.2 percentage.
D'Auria led all scorers with 25 points and had some big baskets down the stretch for the Engineers. His three-pointer with 3:05 on the clock had MIT within 58-56, then another trifecta with 1:47 remaining closed the margin to 61-58. He also had six rebounds, five steals and was 11 for 12 from the free throw line in the game. No other Engineers scored in double digits, with Barlotta and senior quad-captain Phil Murray recording eight points each. The game featured 49 fouls and 57 free throw attempts, with both squads shooting well from the charity stripe. MIT was 22 of 26 (84.6 percent), while Tufts was 23 for 31 (74.2%). Both teams moved the ball well, with Tufts earning 16 assists on 20 baskets and MIT posting 11 assists on their 16 hoops.
Mike D'Auria led MIT in scoring for the ninth consecutive game and moved into 14th place on the Institute's all-time scoring list (1,139 points) with his final basket of the night.
The Engineers get little time to rest as they prepare for a brutal stretch to open their league slate. MIT will host the Bears of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Thursday before hitting the road to face Wheaton and WPI, which is currently ninth in the national rankings.