Jan. 13, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sophomore Jimmy Bartolotta scored a game-high 21 points to lead four MIT (8-7, 2-2) players in double figures and the Engineers used a strong surge midway through the second half to power past NEWMAC-rival Wheaton College (7-6, 1-3), 65-53, in Rockwell Cage, Saturday afternoon. Sparked by a career-high scoring effort from sophomore Brandon Suarez, MIT shot over 63% from the floor in the final 20 minutes.
Suarez closed Saturday's game with 16 points, including a 4-of-5 effort from three-point range. He set a new personal best after setting a personal-high on Thursday with seven points. While Suarez made the difference for the Engineers against the Lyons, Bartolotta once again showcased his leadership, adding a career and game-high nine assists and grabbing five rebounds. Despite the big performance, Bartolotta was held without a block or steal for the first time all year.
Senior Brian Zukowski led Wheaton with 16 points, while rookie Jaxon Leo added nine and Brent DiGiovanna chipped in eight. The Lyons had eight players touch-up the scoresheet, while 13 different players rotated into the game. Wheaton shot 46% from the field in the first half, but was unable to find its touch in the second, shooting 8-of-29 (28%) in the second.
Leading 30-28 entering the second half, the Engineers finished on three straight lay-ups to extend the advantage to six. A three by Leo at 15:44 reduced MIT's lead to one, while Zukowski scored a lay-up at 14:12 to give the Lyons their first lead since the final minute of the first frame.
Leo connected on another triple just over a minute later before a three by Kristopher Pedra gave the Lyons their second consecutive long-range connect and final lead of the game at 43-41. After Pedra's three, the Engineers responded with a 14-0 run including two three's by Suarez and back-to-back lay-ups by Bartolotta and freshman Erich Bracht.
Ahead 55-43, DiGiovanni stopped the run with a lay-up and 6:46 to play. Wheaton would get as close as eight after Zukowski drained a three with 56 seconds left in regulation, but Bartolotta connected on four straight free throws to end the game.
Bracht delivered his seventh double-double of the season and first in the NEWMAC after closing with 13 points and a game-best 11 rebounds. Krull shrugged off a difficult first half to finish with 11 points, while MIT edged Wheaton on the boards, 31-29.