Jan. 14, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Mike D'Auria scored 10 of his game-high 19 points at the free-throw line as MIT (10-4, 3-1) continued its strong start in NEWMAC play with a 72-50 victory over Babson College (5-9, 0-3). The Engineers snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Beavers in convincing fashion as the Cardinal and Gray dominated the glass and received 35 points off the bench.
Offensively, both teams looked slugglish in the opening minutes of the first half. The score remained tight through the first eight minutes, with Babson grabbing a 13-9 lead on a three by Zach Etten. Danny Kanamori answered with a triple on the Engineers' next possession to spark an 11-0 run that would put MIT firmly in front for the rest of the afternoon.
A three-point field goal by rookie Jimmy Bartolotta stretched MIT's lead to double figures for the first time at 4:48 (27-17), while seven free throws in the final minutes helped the Engineers extend the advantage to 37-21 at the haftime break.
Brandon Eigenberg tried to keep Babson in the contest with a pair of three's early in the second frame that reduced MIT's lead to 42-29 with 15:29 left in the tilt. D'Auria answered Eigenberg's push with a lay-up and free throw on the other end to extend the Babson deficit back to 16. Four minutes later, D'Auria delivered a bounce pass to Bartolotta for an easy lay-in as MIT grabbed its largest advantage of the game at 56-34. The teams traded baskets in the final 10 minutes, but the Beavers were unable to slice into the lead as MIT secured its first win over Babson hoops since 2001.
D'Auria endured his worst shooting performance of the season (4-of-13), but still finished with 19 after converting 10-of-14 at the line. He also added a game-best six assists and seven rebounds. Phil Murray also enjoyed a nice offensive game for Tech's hardwood unit, scoring 14 points, including an 8-of-11 performance at the charity stripe. While no other MIT players reached double-figures, Kanamori and Bartolotta each finished with nine, Alex Krull had eight and freshman Bradley Gampel pitched in seven. Hamidou Soumare paced all players on the glass with 11 boards.
Babson was led by Brian Parsons, who scored 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting. David Votta and Etten each chipped in nine points, while Eigenberg buried two from deep to finish with six.
"It was nice to see us bounce back after Thursday's loss," commented assistant coach Oli Eslinger. "We got back to playing MIT basketball today against a talented team. Outside of the turnovers, our formula for success was displayed perfectly. We just need to continue working and take it one game at a time."
The victory snaps a modest two-game losing streak for MIT, including a non-conference loss against Rhode Island College in which the Engineers surrendered a season-high 80 points. The win also gives the Cardinal and Gray 10 wins on the campaign, matching last season's entire win total.