Feb. 26, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. - Ryan Flynn tallied a team-high 20 points on 7-of-7 shooting as host WPI captured its second consecutive NEWMAC Tournament Championship with a 69-56 victory over MIT on Sunday afternoon. With the win, WPI earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships with the 59-team bracket due to be released late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
WPI (22-3) held a narrow advantage for the first 14 minutes before Danny Kanamori drained a three-pointer to give MIT (20-8) its only lead of the game at 20-19. WPI quickly responded with a 12-0 run highlighted by a three-pointer and a lay-up by point guard Brett Dickson and a traditional three-point play and thunderous dunk by Antoine Coleman. WPI took a 37-26 advantage into the locker room at half.
The two teams played a tightly contested second half with MIT getting as close as eight points, but never trailing by more then 16. MIT struggled to find its range from three-point land, connecting on only 5-of-27 shots from behind the arc.
Dickson added 12 points for WPI while Coleman hit double figures with 11 points to go along with six rebounds. Brian Steele and Ryan Cain each amassed nine points and five rebounds while Ryan Bourque corralled a team-best seven boards.
Freshman Jimmy Bartolotta topped all players with 21 points and 11 rebounds for MIT, while Mike D'Auria chipped in with 13 points. Alex Krull added 10 points and five rebounds and Hamidou Soumare hauled in seven boards. Last season, WPI made its first appearance in the NCAA Championships in nearly twenty years, advancing to the sectionals before losing to eventual national semifinalist York (PA).
MIT holds out hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. A berth would be the first in the 105 year history of the program. Selections can be viewed at D3hoops.com and NCAAsports.com on Sunday evening with brackets scheduled to be posted Monday morning.