Nov. 24, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Making the necessary adjustments after its first three games of the season, MIT played outstanding perimeter defense and scored 38 points off turnovers as the Engineers opened the home slate with an 83-51 victory over Suffolk University on Saturday. Jimmy Bartolotta led scorers with 22 points in limited action while junior classmate Billy Johnson added 21.
Still in search of its first win of the campaign, Suffolk (0-4) began the game strong behind the shooting of Alan Jaziri and actually led by one point six minutes into the game. Despite the good start, MIT (3-1) methodically moved in front and began to take control. The Engineers forced 29 turnovers and set a season-high with 17 steals.
Once again, Bartolotta dictated the pace with a solid all-around game. The junior star cooled off from the field after delivering a scintillating performance on Tuesday against Curry, although he still finished 8-of-15 from the floor and 5-of-6 at the line, while adding a game-best six assists, four rebounds, three steals and a block. Bartolotta's first basket of the afternoon also marked his 1,000 career point as he became the 22nd player in program history to achieve the milestone.
"It's nice to get a win even though we didn't play particularly well," noted Bartolotta. "There was an opportunity today for everyone on the team to play quality minutes and I do think that our passing continues to get better. We still have to improve in a number of areas, but I'm encouraged by our selflessness and commitment to get better."
MIT led 42-26 at the break, but broke the game open with a 24-9 run midway through the second half. Johnson served as the top shooter during the tilt, knocking down 7-of-12 from the field while collecting six boards, two assists, two blocks and two steals. Hamidou Soumare also reached double figures despite playing only 17 minutes. Soumare finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks while shooting 7-of-9 at the charity stripe. Although he quietly commands the offense, Bradley Gampel also enjoyed a strong effort, totaling four points, five assists and a game-high five steals.
MIT's bench, which closed with a season-high 36 points, picked up most of its momentum off the solid interior play of junior Barnett Koryan, who scored a career-high seven points on 3-of-3 shooting. Freshman Ian Sugel chipped in six, while fellow rookie Michael Zieve added five.
Suffolk, which was held to 30% shooting for the game including 1-of-18 from three-point range, was led by Jaziri, who finished with 15 points.