CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Led by sophomore Paul Dawson's (Stone Mountain, Ga.) career-high 14 points, the MIT men's basketball team used a balanced attack that saw five players reach double figures in a 70-57 win over Wheaton College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference game. Led by Dawson, the Engineers received 31 points from its bench, outscoring the Lyons bench by 17, as they won their third straight game. Senior Brian Johnson (Roxbury, Mass.) led Wheaton with 17 points.
Thanks to early threes by sophomore Jaycob Morales (Lawrence, Mass.) and Johnson, Wheaton (8-11, 1-7 NEWMAC) jumped out to an early 8-2 lead after Johnson drained his shot two minutes in. Senior James Burke (Scotch Plains, N.J.) answered for MIT (15-4, 6-2 NEWMAC) with a trey, but Wheaton hung on to its early lead, with a pair of free throws from Johnson lifting the Lyons to a 12-9 edge at the 14:07 mark.
A pair of free throws from freshman Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) a minute later put MIT in the lead for the first time in the game at 13-12. Sophomore Ryan Clinesmith (New York, N.Y.) kept Wheaton within one on a layup, but MIT heated up from outside the three-point line. Pedley, who finished with 10 points, hit a pair and Dawson another as the Engineers went on an 11-2 run that put them up 26-16 with 7:24 left. Wheaton could not get closer than eight points the rest of the half and MIT pushed it advantage to as many as 18 points before it took a 42-27 lead into the locker room.
Wheaton scored the first points of the second half on a layup by sophomore Mike O'Loughlin (Milford, N.H.), a basket that started a 7-3 surge to start the half and brought the Lyons within 11 after a layup by sophomore Mike Cannon (New York, N.Y.) at 17:28. Senior Mitchell Kates (Colts Neck, N.J.) hit a three as MIT scored a quick seven points and pushed its lead back to 18 with 15 minutes to go.
Wheaton could not put another run together for the rest of the game as MIT took its lead all the way to 21 points after a layup by senior Will Tashman (Atherton, Calif.) made it 62-41 with 7:30 left. MIT still led by 20 after another Tashman basket with five minutes left and it was too big a hole for Wheaton to dig out of. A three by freshman Eric Davis (Middleton, Mass.) and a jumper by senior Scott Faucher (Lebanon, N.H.) cut Wheaton's deficit to 14, but with 2:33 left it was too little too late for the Lyons.
Tashman finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, with sophomore Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) matching Tashman with nine boards and adding 11 points. Kates finished with 12 points for MIT, which held a 37-25 edge on the boards. Clinesmith added 13 points for the Lyons, who outshot the Engineers 44.2 to 42.0 percent.
MIT will stay at home for its next game, hosting NEWMAC foe Springfield College on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in Rockwell Cage. Wheaton will step out of conference in its next game, hosting Worcester State tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.