CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – No. 15 MIT overcame a slow start by shooting over 57 percent from the floor in the second half when the Engineers broke open a close game, coming away with a 63-42 non-conference men's basketball win over Emmanuel College. MIT placed four starters in double figures, with senior Dennis Levene (Weston, Conn.) notching a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds. Emmanuel was led by junior Kyle Davis (Groveland, Mass.) with 11 points off the bench.
Neither team could find any offensive rhythm for most of the first half, with both squads shooting under 39 percent. After the two teams traded baskets in the opening minute, they combined to go 0-for-16 from the floor over the next seven minutes until Ryan Frankel (New York, N.Y.) hit a three for MIT (7-1). Sophomore Matt Raine (Miami, Fla.) answered Frankel's trey with one of his own for Emmanuel (3-6), and the two sides continued to go back-and-forth, with six ties and five lead changes occurring during the first 16 minutes of the half.
With 3:47 left in the half sophomore Aidan Hadley (Owls Head, Maine) tied things up at 17-all with a jump shot for Emmanuel. Junior Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) hit a three for MIT, but Hadley hit another shot to keep the Saints within a point. Sophomore Tim Butala (Monroe, Conn.) then slammed home a dunk that sparked MIT to a 7-2 run to end the half, giving the Engineers a 27-21 lead.
Emmanuel picked up the first five points of the second half to stay close, with Hadley bringing the Saints back to 27-26 two and a half minutes in. The two teams then traded 7-0 runs over the next four minutes; with a layup by Davis closing Emmanuel back to within a point at 34-33 with 13:22 left.
Junior Lampros Tsontzos (Amarousion, Greece) then scored off a feed from Butala, with Frankel following with a trey to spark the biggest run of the game. The Engineers held Emmanuel scoreless for nearly seven minutes, with the Saints missing eight straight shots. MIT heated up on its end of the court, hitting on 7-of-11 attempts to put together a 16-0 run that put the game away. When freshman Samson Donick (Tiburon, Calif.) completed the surge with a layup with 7:05 left, the Engineers had opened up a 50-33 lead.
Emmanuel could not get closer than 16 the rest of the way as MIT cruised home with the victory in its final December home game. MIT shot 57.7 percent in the second half and 46.4 percent for the game while holding the Saints to 35.8 percent shooting for the game and out rebounding them, 41-26.
Pedley led all scorers for MIT with 17 points, with Butala and Frankel finishing with 11 each. Levene led the squad in rebounds as well as pacing the Engineers with six assists. Hadley added nine points for Emmanuel and also led the Saints with seven rebounds.
MIT will play again on Thursday night at Rhode Island College at 7:00 p.m. Emmanuel will not play again until January 6 when the Saints will play at Suffolk University in a 7:00 p.m. GNAC matchup.