MIT Takes Home Opener, 77-57, Over Newbury

Senior Dennis Levene
Senior Dennis Levene

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Led by 25 points from junior Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.), the MIT men's basketball team saw four starters finish the game in double figures as the Engineers took their 2014-15 home opener, 77-57, over Newbury College.  Sophomores Kenny Ramos (Roxbury, Mass.) and Jeremiah Ephraim (Norwood, Mass.) each had 14 points to lead the Nighthawks.

Senior Mills Carrasco (Haverhill, Mass.) drilled a three-pointer for Newbury (1-5) in the opening minute of the game to give his team a 3-2 advantage, but it would prove to be the last lead of the contest for the Nighthawks. An offensive rebound and lay in by sophomore Tim Butala (Monroe, Conn.) gave MIT the lead back, with Pedley following with one of this four three-point shots on the night to put No. 16 MIT (2-0) up 7-4 five minutes in.

A minute later a free throw by Ephraim had Newbury within six, but MIT rolled off eight straight points, six of which came from senior Andrew Acker (Merion Station, Pa.), to take a 20-6 advantage midway through the half. Newbury could not get closer than eight the rest of the half as the Engineers answered each run attempt by the Nighthawks. A jumper by sophomore Daivon Edwards (Boston, Mass.) with two minutes left completed a five-point surge to get the deficit back under 10 points, but a layup by senior Dennis Levene (Weston, Conn.) in the final minute gave MIT a 35-25 edge at the half.

Newbury started the second half with a jumper from senior Cameron Owen (Concord, N.H.), but it was as close as the Nighthawks would get the rest of the way as Pedley pushed the lead back into double digits with a trey. MIT still held an 11-point lead at the 13-minute mark when junior Ryan Frankel (New York, N.Y.) hit a shot that started a 12-0 run that broke the game open. Pedley scored eight points in the surge, converting a three-point play with 9:40 left that gave the Engineers a 61-38 lead.

From there Newbury could not come up with a run to get back in the game and MIT kept its advantage around the 20-point mark the rest of the way. The closest the Nighthawks could get was 17 points after a Ramos free throw, but Acker answered with an offensive rebound and put back on the other end as the Engineers went on to pick up their second straight win to open the season.

MIT held Newbury to 39 percent shooting and held a decisive, 37-23, edge on the boards. Acker and Levene each finished with 15 points, with Butala adding 12 points and a team best seven assists. Junior Russell Johnson (New York, N.Y.) came off the bench to lead the Engineers with 11 rebounds. Ramos had a double-double for Newbury, adding 11 boards to his 14 points. Owen also finished in double figures for the Nighthawks with 13.

MIT will play again tomorrow night; hosting Tufts University at 7:00 p.m. Newbury will be off until December 4 when the Nighthawks will host Lesley University at 7:00 p.m.