Jan. 30, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Antoine Coleman's three hung up on the rim for enough time for everyone to take notice, before falling into the cylinder for the game-clinching field goal as WPI solidified its spot in first-place in the NEWMAC with a 58-52 overtime victory at MIT. The loss was MIT's first of the season in Rockwell Cage.
Coleman capped a strong all-around game with the pivotal basket that pushed WPI (14-5, 4-1) in front, 54-50, as 2:21 remained in the overtime period. MIT (12-7, 3-3) junior Jimmy Bartolotta drained a fall-away jumper on the left baseline during the ensuing possession to slice the lead to two, but WPI closed the game with four straight free throws after the Cardinal and Gray were unable to convert on its last two shots.
Wednesday's mid-week conference clash remained tight throughout, with WPI authoring the largest lead of the second half as Adam Lirette's lay-up with 14:17 left in the game put WPI up, 37-32. MIT responded by scoring the next seven points including Daniel McCue's go-ahead lay-up with 11:35 left in regulation.
A jumper by Ben Etten gave WPI a 46-42 lead at 5:10, although MIT scored the last four points of the second half while keeping WPI off the board. Bartolotta knotted the score after hitting a free throw with 2:58 still on the clock. Both teams had chances down the stretch and MIT owned the final possession, but Bradley Gampel's drive to the left missed long off the glass as time expired.
Gampel delivered one of his best efforts of the season in the loss, scoring a season-high 14 points while adding four assists and a game-best four steals. Freshman Daniel McCue also enjoyed a good game, chipping in a career-high 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, three assists and two steals.
Bartolotta led all scorers with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting. The junior star was hampered by foul trouble and missed over 10 minutes in the second half but still closed with four boards, three steals and a block. No other player scored in double figures for MIT, although Hamidou Soumare grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds as MIT won the battle of the boards, 34-28.
Etten led WPI with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting with Jerome Kirkland adding 12 and Marois closing with 11. Etten and Coleman tied for the team lead with seven caroms off the glass. Coleman, who also scored nine points after finishing 4-of-6 from the floor, added three blocks to pace a fantastic defensive effort for WPI.
The only time there was a large separation between the teams was early in the first as Bartolotta drained two three's to propel MIT to a 12-2 lead six minutes into the game. Kirkland and Etten helped erase the deficit by combining for nine points over the next five minutes.