CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as the Engineers defeated Clark University, 80-57, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball game this afternoon. Led by 17 points from senior Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.), MIT saw all five starters reach double figures as the Engineers shot over 50 percent while holding the Cougars to 33 percent shooting. Senior Andrew Musler (Belmont, Mass.) led all scorers with 18 points for Clark.
Clark (7-12, 2-6 NEWMAC) hit its first two three-point attempts of the game, one by sophomore Joseph Atkinson (Milford, Mass.) and the other by senior Nicholas DaPrato (Marshfield, Mass.), with DaPrato's putting the Cougars on top, 6-2, two and a half minutes in. Junior Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) answered for MIT with the first of his three triples in the first half and a minute later his steal led to a jumper from junior Ryan Frankel (New York, N.Y.) that put MIT on top 7-6.
MIT never trailed again, building it advantage to 11 points on a three by senior Dennis Levene (Weston, Conn.) midway through the half. Clark cut its deficit to seven points on a Musler layup, but MIT answered with a 12-4 run that was started by five straight points from sophomore Tim Butala (Monroe, Conn.). With four minutes left in the half a pair of free throws from senior Andrew Acker (Merion Station, Pa.) had the Engineers up 37-22. Another pair of Acker free throws at the end of the half gave MIT a 42-27 advantage going into the break.
Clark started the second half with some energy and it paid off as the Cougars whittled away at the MIT advantage. Musler stole the ball to start things off and converted on a layup that started Clark on a 10-2 run to start the half. Sophomore David Mercier (Milford, Mass.) and Musler connected on treys in the run, with Musler's shot at 16:31 making it a six-point game at 45-39.
A three from freshman Spencer Rust (Alamo, Calif.) pushed the MIT advantage back to double figures at 50-39, but Clark did not let the lead grow any larger than that over the next five minutes and with 10:09 to play the Cougars trailed by just nine at 54-45 after a pair of Mercier free throws.
That would be as close as the Cougars would get, however, as MIT came up with six straight points to take a 60-45 lead on a Redfield jumper with 8:41 to go. Clark cut the MIT lead to 12 several times, but the Cougars could not put a run together as they hit just on 2-of-13 attempts over the final six minutes of the contest. With Clark struggling with its shooting, MIT out scored the Cougars 16-5 over that final six minutes to seal the victory.
Pedley, Levene and Acker all finished with 12 points for MIT, with Acker notching his fourth double-double of the season with a season-high 15 rebounds, seven on the offensive end. Frankel added 11 points and seven assists for the Engineers, who held a 37-22 edge on the boards. Mercier finished with 11 points for Clark, matching Musler for the team lead with five rebounds.
MIT will be in action again on Wednesday night, when it travels to Springfield College for a 7:30 p.m. matchup with the Pride. Clark will also be on the road on Wednesday when the Cougars will travel to Coast Guard for a 5:30 p.m. clash with the Bears.