Feb. 4, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT men’s basketball orchestrated a 15-4 run in the last three minutes of the second half to rally past Springfield, 68-57, on Wednesday in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game. The Engineers weathered a poor shooting performance in the first half to stay unbeaten at home, while tying WPI for first place in the conference standings.
Senior Jimmy Bartolotta and freshman Jamie Karraker each scored 20 points to lead the way for MIT (16-5, 7-1), which trailed 29-23 at the break after shooting 26% (8-of-30) from the field. Bartolotta, who ranks second in the NCAA in scoring, was held without a field goal in the first half and was virtually kept off the stat sheet. In the second half, and especially late, the fourth-year star from Littleton, Colo., took over the tilt.
Bartolotta canned a pull-up jumper three feet beyond the top the arc to break a 53-53 tie with 3:14 left in regulation. On MIT’s next trip down the floor, Bartolotta drove to the middle and kicked out to Karraker on the wing for another three. After a pair of Springfield (9-11, 1-6) free throws, Bartolotta again drove down the middle before delivering another pass in the corner that Billy Johnson converted for three more points. It was free throws the rest of the way for both sides as the Engineers’ held the Pride without a field goal over the final eight minutes.
After a stunningly quiet first half, Bartolotta finished with 20 points on 5-of-14 shooting, with three assists, three steals, and four blocks. Karraker, who scored the first nine points of the game for MIT, finished 5-of-8 from the outside and 7-of-12 from the floor. Eric Zuk added 11 points for the Engineers, while Billy Johnson chipped in eight points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Johnson struggled from the field on Wednesday (2-of-16), but his three inside the final minute sealed the season sweep for MIT against Springfield.
John Strawson led the Pride with 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting and grabbed a team-best eight boards. Pat Crean dropped in 11 for Springfield, which led by as many as nine early in the second half.