Dec. 3, 2005
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT (6-1) rebounded from its first loss of the season with a commanding victory over Polytechnic University (1-3) in Rockwell Cage, Saturday afternoon. Dropping the Blue Jays by a count of 67-50, the Engineers' lead never fell below 14 points during the second half. Senior Mike D'Auria scored a career-high 26 points and added a game-best four steals for the Cardinal and Gray to lead the offensive assault.
D'Auria opened the game with a three and although MIT raced ahead, Polytechnic assumed a 14-11 lead midway through the first period as the Engineers struggled with turnovers for the second consecutive game. The rookie tandem of Jimmy Bartolotta and Adam Juneau provided a much-needed boost for MIT, combining for 11 points during the stretch run of the half to push the Engineers back in front, 31-20, as the halftime horn rang out across the arena.
Bartolotta connected on the first shot of the second half for a 13-point advantage and the Engineers never looked back. Lindon Ivezaj kept the Blue Jays in contention with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, but D'Auria's hot hand kept Polytechnic's comeback hopes at bay. Juneau also continued to serve as a force for the Tech frontcourt, adding six markers in the second frame to finish with a career-high 10 points. Also grabbing a game-high nine rebounds, MIT's low-post rookie just missed on a double-double.
Dale Smiley's second three of the game brought the Blue Jays back within 14 after falling behind by as many as 19, but senior center Gary Atkins stretched the Engineers' lead back out with a lay-up and free throw with five minutes left in regulation.
"We were pleased as we finally got some production out of our frontcourt offense," said assistant coach Oliver Eslinger. "We need our frontcourt attack to continue to provide a strong presence down low and we must continue to get solid production from our bench as we move forward this season."
After being outscored for the first time in MIT's loss against Gordon, the Engineers' bench outscored Polytechnic, 19-3, while Tech also secured a 26-14 advantage on points in the paint. MIT held the Blue Jays to just 34% shooting, while shooting 52% itself, including 61% from the field in the second half.
D'Auria hit his first six three-point attempts and finished 6-of-8 beyond the arc. He also contributed six assists, while senior Danny Kanamori added a season-high 10 dimes. Kanamori also paced all guards with six boards, and tacked on five points and two steals to the MIT effort. Bartolotta tied a career-high with his second consecutive 16-point game. Bartolotta was 6-of-9 from the floor and was the only player with significant minutes without a turnover.