Dec. 5, 2006
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Junior forward Jim Bayne had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and sophomore guard Matt Maynard added 13 points to lead Western New England College to a 61-52 victory over MIT at Alumni Healthful Living Center, Tuesday night. Sophomore Jimmy Bartolotta netted a game-best 23 for the Engineers, although MIT was rarely efficient on offense.
The Golden Bears led the entire first half and enjoyed their largest lead of the frame at 16-9 with eight minutes left on the clock. Seven consecutive points over the next three minutes by Bartolotta brought MIT within two, while Mroz followed up a WNEC basket with a three to reduce the lead to one. The Golden Bears stretched the advantage back to five before the Engineers sliced the margin back to a single point with 1:30 to go. MIT was unable to get in front of Western New England, and although Bartolotta missed a three to tie at the buzzer, MIT trailed only 29-26 heading into the locker room.
Whatever message head coach Larry Anderson delivered to his team during the intermission, it appeared to work at the outset of the second half. MIT opened the first four minutes of the period on a 10-4 run to move ahead, 38-33. Mroz and Bradley Gampel connected on three's during the stretch, while Bartolotta penetrated the defense for a pair of buckets.
Despite the surge, the Golden Bears were able to chip away at the slim lead and pull even at 51-51 with less than seven minutes left in regulation. The Engineers enjoyed their last lead of the night at the same time they scored their last field goal; with 7:24 left in the contest. During the final seven-plus minutes of action, Western New England outscored MIT, 10-1, with the Engineers getting their only point on a Mroz free throw with 12 seconds left. MIT missed its last 10 shots and turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions during the difficult stretch.
Bartolotta scored 23 to pace the MIT attack and Mroz added 11 off the bench. Western New England out-rebounded the Engineers, 40-36, in the team's first meeting since 1997. For the fourth time this season, MIT was held under 36% shooting (31.7%). The Cardinal and Gray have lost all four games.