Shot In The Final Seconds Lifts Clark Over MIT, 56-55

Freshman Tim Butala
Freshman Tim Butala

WORCESTER, Mass. – A jumper with two second left on the clock by senior Jake Gubitose (Fiskdale, Mass.) lifted Clark University to a 56-55 victory over MIT in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action this afternoon. The Engineers shot 45.5 percent from the floor, but missed three straight free throws in the final minute that proved costly. Freshman Tim Butala (Monroe, Conn.) came off the bench to lead MIT with a career-high 16 points, while senior Andrew Musler (Belmont, Mass.) led Clark with 17 points and seven rebounds.

Six turnovers in the opening minutes prevented MIT (14-5, 5-3 NEWMAC) from getting a shot off until three minutes into the game. Clark  (11-8, 2-6 NEWMAC) took advantage and scored the first seven points of the contest as the Cougars ran out to a 10-2 lead after a three-point shot from Musler.

A three-point play from Butala at the 12:17 mark pulled MIT back within four at 15-11, but treys from Musler and Gubitose pushed the Cougars back out to a seven-point lead at 21-14 midway through the half. MIT pulled within three after junior Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) drained a pair of free throws, but Clark answered with a three from sophomore Tyler Huffman (West Hartford, Conn.). Butala then scored five straight points for the Engineers,. with three coming on a three-point shot with 4:05 to go to make it a one-point affair.

A minute later sophomore Ryan Frankel (New York, N.Y.) gave MIT its first lead of the game, sinking a shot to put the Engineers up 27-26. Clark misfired on its final three attempts of the half and Redfield the closed out the scoring for MIT, getting back-to-back layup to put the Engineers on top, 31-26, at the half.

MIT slowly built on its halftime lead at the start of the second half, with Redfield and Butala accounting for seven points in a 71-second stretch that pulled the Engineers out to a 39-30 lead. MIT still held a nine-point advantage after junior Dennis Levene (Weston, Conn.) drained a three, and Butala pushed the lead to double digits at 46-35 on a jump shot with 10:53 to go.

MIT's offense then went cold, with the Engineers missing six shots and turning the ball over three times over the next five minutes. Clark took advantage and outscored MIT 13-0 in the stretch, regaining the lead on a pair of Musler free throws and going up 50-46 on a jumper by Gubitose with 5:19 left.

Butala snapped the MIT dry spell with a jump shot before Frankel hit four straight free throws to put the Engineers back on top, 52-50, with 3:30 to play. The teams then traded baskets before sophomore Justin Pedley (Kennewik, Wash.) gave MIT a 55-52 advantage when he hit one of two free throws with 53 second left.

That would be the end of the scoring for MIT, however, and a layup by Huffman with 46 second to go brought the Cougars with in one. With 19 seconds showing Butala was fouled but he missed both free throw attempts, setting up the game winning shot by Gubitose.

Redfield finished with a double-double for MIT, scoring 14 points and leading all players with 16 rebounds. Frankel also finished in double figures for the Engineers, putting in 13 points and handing out a career-high nine assists. Huffman was the only other player in double figures for Clark, finishing with 10 points. Gubitose hit all four shots he attempted and finished with nine.

MIT will be on the road again on Wednesday, when it travels to Springfield College for a 7:00 p.m. NEWMAC game with the Pride. Clark will play again on Wednesday as well, hosting Coast Guard at 5:00 p.m.