February 19, 2005
Hot-Shooting Springfield Drives Past MIT, 73-65
Feb. 19, 2005
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Led by Mike DeCesar's 16, five players scored in double figures for Springfield College (20-5, 10-2 NEWMAC), which closed the regular season with a 73-65 victory over MIT (10-13, 3-9 NEWMAC) at Rockwell Cage, Saturday afternoon. After trailing by as many as 17 in the second half, the Engineers made a run to close the gap, but fell short in the season's highest-attended game.
The energy in Rockwell Cage provided a tremendous atmosphere for the final game of the regular season. With over 100 MIT alumni and their families attending today's tilt, the arena rocked throughout the entire first half. Each team traded three-point field goals often in the early minutes. While Jason O'Tash connected on three triples to lead the Springfield attack, three's by Danny Kanamori and Alex Krull kept the Engineers within striking distance. Although the Pride stayed ahead for most of the period, a late score by Kanamori tied the score at 35-35 heading into halftime.
In the second half, the Pride raced ahead behind a balanced scoring attack and the playmaking of Anthony Pizzo. Springfield's sophomore point delivered five of his game-high six assists in the second frame. Offensively, DeCesar paved the way, though Kyle Marian added 13 points and Derek Yvon chipped in 12. O'Tash also reached double-digits with 11 points, while Joel Aponte collected the game's only double-double, adding a game-best 10 rebounds to his 10-point scoring total.
Mike D'Auria heated up late for MIT, which fell behind 64-47 with seven minutes left in regulation. D'Auria hit four three's in the half en route to a game-high 22 points. He also secured a career-high eight boards, and added four assists. D'Auria's final three with just over a minute to play, reduced the Pride's lead to 69-63, but Tech couldn't cut the deficit as Springfield handled its business from the free-throw line.
At halftime, the 1966-67 MIT men's basketball team was honored, and a banner unveiled, for plaudits as the ECAC Team of the Year, considered by many to be the best basketball team in the history of the program.