Jan. 25, 2005
NORTON, Mass. - Junior Mike D'Auria sparked arguably the Engineers best half of the season as MIT (9-7, 3-3) overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to upend Wheaton College (13-4, 4-2) in Norton on Tuesday night. Unparalleled success from the free throw line also helped Tech's cause, which won its third consecutive game to pull even in NEWMAC play.
Wheaton held a 38-29 advantage at the half, powered by a balanced attack that resulted in four players reaching double figures for the game. Freshman Eric Johnston helped the Lyons pull away early, converting three straight baskets during an 8-0 stretch, including a breakaway dunk. Danny Kanamori kept the Engineers in the tilt with great shooting from the outside. Kanamori closed the first period with 15 points, stretching the defense with five three-point field goals.
With the Lyons holding a 46-37 advantage early in the second half, D'Auria ignited MIT by scoring 13 of the Engineers next 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting. The streak catapulted the Cardinal and Gray ahead of the Lyons, 52-48, with seven minutes left in regulation, and ultimately kept the Engineers ahead for good.
MIT enjoyed another great day from the floor, shooting 54 percent in the second half to help seal the win, including a season-best 80 percent from the charity stripe. The Engineers benefited from an outstanding defensive effort as well, that limited Wheaton to just six field goals in the half. The Lyons shot 6-of-27 from the floor and 1-of-11 from three-point range as the lead and the game slowly slipped from their grasp.
Kanamori used his strong first half performance to lead all scorers with 22 points, while also corraling a team-high seven rebounds. D'Auria added 15 points, while Gibbons relied on a solid effort from the free throw line to finish with 12. Rookie Hamidou Soumare set a team-high for the season with four blocks against the Lyons' front line.