Dec. 9, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT delivered a phenomenal first-half of basketball and led by as many as 26 points in the second. It nearly wasn’t enough as Emerson stormed back before falling to the Engineers, 65-57, on Tuesday in Rockwell Cage. Jimmy Bartolotta made the difference for MIT after scoring a game-high 27 points.
Coming out of the break with a 37-18 lead, the Engineers extended the advantage to 47-21 with 17 minutes left in the game. Freshman Jamie Karraker, who finished the night with 15 points, scored the first six points of the second frame after scoring the first nine markers of the game.
Rookie Dan Boylan sparked a 25-8 run for the Lions midway through the second that reduced a once seemingly insurmountable lead to single digits. Trailing 55-46 with five minutes left in regulation, Emerson continued to chip at the lead. Tom Messinger drilled his second three of the half with 53 seconds left to bring the Lions within four (59-55) for the first time since the 14-minute mark of the first half. Unfortunately, time ran out for Emerson as MIT secured its third consecutive win at the free-throw line.
“I’m real proud of the way our guys played today,” said Tech head coach Larry Anderson. “Our defensive intensity was tremendous in the first half, and thankfully, we were able to hang on against a very athletic and strong Emerson team.”
In addition to his game-high effort on the offensive end, Bartolotta grabbed nine rebounds, made three steals and registered all four of MIT’s blocked shots.
Jeremy Shannon was held to 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting, although he scored 11 of his points during Emerson’s furious comeback late in the game. Bryan Rouse cooled off after a hot start in the paint and finished with 16 points.
The turnovers and rebounds were fairly even, with MIT closing plus-four on the glass. The Engineers held the Lions to 27% shooting in the first half (6-of-22), while the Lions turned the tables on MIT’s offense in the second (8-of-22).
With the game tied 7-7 five minutes into the action, the Engineers quickly doubled their total behind four free-throws and a three off the hand of Bartolotta. MIT maintained the pressure throughout the half with Eric Zuk’s three giving the Cardinal and Gray its largest lead of the half at 33-14 with less than four minutes to play.