Nov. 17, 2006
By Gordon Sports Information
WENHAM, Mass. - Sophomore Jimmy Bartolotta scored 24 of his 32 points in the first half as the Engineers held on to defeat Middlebury College, 83-73, in the opening game of the Gordon College Tip-Off Tournament, Friday night, in the Bennett Center in Wenham.
The Engineers (1-0) took an early 21-13 lead before the Panthers (0-1) battled back to make it a 21-17 game with 11:57 remaining in the opening half. MIT continued to charge forward and increased the lead to 16, 41-25, with just 3:29 to play. The 20-7 run for the Engineers was highlighted by consecutive three-pointers courtesy of sophomore Brandon Suarez and junior Will Mroz before Bartolotta added a lay-up to cap off the run. The Panthers had a chance to cut into the lead in the waning seconds but a turnover on the inbounds play turned into Bartolotta's 23rd and 24th points of the half and sent the Panthers to the locker room down 50-33.
Just 33 seconds into the second half, MIT senior guard Alex Krull gave MIT a 19 point lead, 52-33, by draining two free-throws. The Engineers extended the lead to 21, 56-35, after Bartolotta hit a lay-up with 17:44 to play in the game.
The Panthers refused to go away, however, posting an 11-2 run over the next 2:23 to cut the deficit to 12, 58-46 with 15:21 showing on the clock. Each side played even ball for the next five minutes and the Panthers inched closer, 68-57 after junior forward Mike Walsh hit a lay-up with just over 10 minutes remaining.
The Panthers continued to battle, but MIT rarely lost its double digit lead in the second half. The closest Middlebury would get is eight when sophomore guard Kyle Dudley hit a three-pointer with 52 seconds to go but it was not enough as MIT held on for the decisive win.
Bartolotta, the reigning NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, paced four MIT players in double-figures with 32 points on 14-of-23 shooting. Point guard Bradley Gampel was effective in running the Tech offense, scoring 10 points in addition to a game-high eight assists. Mroz and sophomore Billy Johnson each added 11 points, mostly from beyond the arc. Senior Alex Krull also played well, grabbing a team-high eight rebounds, while adding two blocked shots, two steals and six points.
The Engineers will play Gordon College, 89-72 winners in the evening's second game, Saturday night (Nov. 18) at 8:00 p.m. in the Championship game. The Panthers will battle Mount Ida College at 6:00 p.m. in the consolation game.