No. 14 WPI Survives MIT Scare, 58-57
Feb. 4, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Antoine Coleman buried MIT for the second time this season. WPI's sophomore forward dropped 30 in a two-point win for WPI against MIT earlier this year, and while Coleman finished with a modest 11 markers on Saturday, his driving bucket in the paint with .02 seconds left on the clock propelled WPI (19-1, 8-1) to a 58-57 victory over MIT (14-7, 5-4) in NEWMAC basketball action, at Rockwell Cage.
Winning the game seemed like a long shot for the hometown Engineers after WPI built a 34-26 halftime lead predicated on 68% shooting from the field. And while the Cardinal and Gray battled against Worcester's relentless attack, WPI extended its advantage to 46-33 with 13 minutes left in the second stanza. At that point, the hoop seemed to get tighter for the road Engineers, while the offense began to click for Tech's hardwood unit.
MIT slowly chipped away at the lead, getting back-to-back three's from Jimmy Bartolotta and Alex Krull, in addition to a running lay-in by Mike D'Auria to reduce the lead to seven (52-45) with 6:32 on the board. On MIT's ensuing possession, D'Auria pulled the trigger again; connecting on a deep three that sliced the deficit to four. The dry spell continued for the WPI offense, which uncharacteristically committed 18 turnovers during the tilt. Following D'Auria's triple, Danny Kanamori connected on a three-point field goal of his own to complete a 9-0 run that leveled the score at 52 with 3:25 to go.
Ryan Cain proved deadly at the free-throw line, keeping WPI in the hunt with a 9-of-9 performance at the stripe. Cain's four free throws off-set MIT's offensive execution, despite the fact that Bret Dickson's lay-up with 7:02 left in the half served as WPI's final field goal until the game-winning buzzer-beater.
D'Auria gave MIT the lead on a free throw with seven seconds left in the game, although his second attempt rimmed out. As WPI pushed the rebound up the floor, Coleman took a pass from the top and drove hard to the middle before pulling back for a five-foot jumper. The shot hit the back iron before falling in for an amazing finish.
D'Auria scored a game-best 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting, while adding five boards, four assists and three steals. Bartolotta delivered 18 for the second consecutive game, while Kanamori also finished in double-figures with 10 points.
Ryan Cain scored 17 to pace WPI, while Coleman totaled 11, including the game-winner. Sophomore Ryan Bourque authored arguably the game's top performance, scoring 16 points of 5-of-6 shooting while hauling in eight rebounds. Bourque's effort in the first half sparked a 16-2 run that erased a 19-9 lead for MIT.