Dec. 4, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Paced by Jimmy Bartolotta's offense and Hamidou Soumare's defense, MIT men's basketball got back on track with a 71-57 victory over Western New England College on Tuesday in Rockwell Cage. Tied early in the second half, the Engineers powered past the Golden Bears with a 29-6 run to secure their first victory in the series since 1997.
Bartolotta shrugged off a tough performance over the weekend in a loss at Tufts, scoring a game-high 29 points, while adding eight assists, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks. The junior guard finished 12-of-20 from the floor including 4-of-7 from three-point range.
Soumare was equally efficient after also enduring a sub-par effort against the Jumbos. Dou hauled in a career-high 18 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass, while finishing 5-of-7 from the field for 12 points. Soumare added two blocks and a pair of steals en route to his fourth double-double of the season.
MIT (6-2) and WNEC (3-4) traded baskets in the first 14 minutes of the game, before three-point field goals by Billy Johnson and Will Mroz gave the Engineers their largest lead of the half at 25-16 with 5:34 remaining in the period.
Jumpers by Conor Lomas and Chris DeVine, along with two three's by Matt Maynard evened the ledger for the Golden Bears heading into the final possession of the frame, but Bartolotta was credited with a tip-in at the buzzer to give the Cardinal and Gray a 35-33 lead at the break.
Maynard tied the score with a jumper to open the second half, after which MIT responded with a five-point run to leap back in front. Ryan Hernandez once again pulled WNEC within two with a three at 16:25. At that point, the game had the feeling of a battle that would stay tight until the end, although five straight points from rookie Daniel McCue and a break-away dunk by Soumare placed the momentum firmly in favor of the Engineers.
A three by DeVine momentarily quieted the crowd, although Bartolotta scored seven consecutive points to spark a 17-0 run that pushed MIT's advantage to 64-41 with 9:43 left in regulation. The Golden Bears stopped the bleeding with a pair of free throws by Brad Thomka, but were unable to close the gap past 18 until the very end of the second half.
DeVine led WNEC with 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists while shooting 6-of-8 from the field. DeVine was the only visiting player to reach double figures, although Kyle Fredette enjoyed a good performance with seven points, eight boards and three blocks. Maynard added eight points and two steals in the loss.
Johnson and McCue each chipped in 10 to also reach double-digits for MIT. McCue's 10-point performance was a career high.
The Engineers owned a 39-30 edge on the glass and out-scored the Golden Bears, 28-14, in the paint. After shooting 46% from the field in the first half, MIT held WNEC to just 33% shooting in the second.