February 7, 2005

National Power WPI Defeats MIT, 71-63

Feb. 5, 2005

By Steve Raczynski, WPI Sports Information 

Box Score

WORCESTER, Mass. - Brian Steele scored a season-high 27 points and Ryan Cain added 20 to lead the 26th-ranked Worcester Polytechnic Institute men's basketball team to a 71-63 victory this afternoon in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference game at WPI's Harrington Auditorium.

 

With the win, WPI improved to 19-1 overall, while MIT fell to 10-10. In conference play, WPI remains a perfect 9-0, while MIT is now 3-6. WPI has now won 10 straight, tying its second-longest winning streak in school history. The 1939-40 team also won 10 straight. The longest winning streak in school history was 12 set last year by the 2003-2004 team. Earlier this season, WPI had a nine-game winning streak to start the season. That streak now becomes the fourth-longest in WPI history. Starting with last season's 12-game streak, WPI has won 35 of its last 42 games.          

 

On Saturday, WPI was led by junior guard Brian Steele who came off the bench to score a season-high 27, bettering the 22 he had scored in a win at Clark. Steele was 6-of-12 from the floor and 15-of-16 from the free throw line. He also had a team-high 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a game-high 4 steals. Sophomore guard Ryan Cain was also 6-of-12 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line en route to his 20-point effort. The only other double-figure scorer for WPI was sophomore center Scott Misiaszek with 10 points. He added five rebounds and two blocks.

 

For MIT, talented senior guard Adam Gibbons led with 21 points. He was followed by senior forward Mike Huhs, who scored 15 (and a game-high 10 rebounds), junior guard Mike D'Auria with nine, and freshman guard Will Mroz with nine, the latter all on three's.  

 

This was WPI's second victory of the season over MIT, although neither has been easy. On January 11 in Cambridge, WPI came from down 15 to win by a count of 73-69.

 

Today's game may have essentially been decided in the first 9 ½ minutes. WPI hit its first five shots, and seven of its first eight. At the 10:35 mark of the first half, WPI led 24-9. At the half, WPI still led by 15 (41-26). Neither team played well offensively in the first 10 minutes of the second half. With 10:34 left, WPI led 49-31 after a lay-up by Steele. Another hoop by Steele with 7:26 left allowed WPI to maintain its 18-point lead. But MIT then began making inroads, cutting the lead to as little as five (63-58) with 30 seconds left when Gibbons made three free throws. But WPI, which made 29 of 35 free throws for the game (.829), kept making its charity tosses down the stretch to ensure the win.