Pierce's Career-High 23 Points Leads Men's Basketball Past WPI, 75-63

Pierce's Career-High 23 Points Leads Men's Basketball Past WPI, 75-63

THE BASICS:

- Score: MIT 75, WPI 63

- Records: MIT (9-3, 2-0 NEWMAC), WPI (9-4, 0-2 NEWMAC)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: On a snowy afternoon in Cambridge, sophomore Dakota Pierce (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) registered a career-high 23 points as the MIT men's basketball team came away with a 75-63 victory over WPI in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action inside Rockwell Cage. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Four of the five MIT starters produced double-digit scoring numbers led by Pierce with his career-high and game-high 23 points. Senior Tim Butala (Monroe, Conn.) produced his third double-double of the season as he contributed 19 points and pulled down ten rebounds. Sophomore Cameron Korb (Los Gatos, Calif.) and classmate AJ Jurko (Weston, Fla.) added 13 and 12 points, respectively, to MIT's total this afternoon.

- For WPI, Sean Doncaster led Worcester's Engineers with a 16 point effort to go along with six assists, while James Loring chipped in 13 points off the bench.

- MIT held a 43-32 advantage in rebounds and a 10-3 margin in second chance points, while WPI received 27 points to MIT's eight off the bench. MIT shot 42.9-percent (21-for-49) from the field, 34.6-percent (9-for-26) from behind the arc and 82.8-percent (24-for-29) from the free throw line, while WPI shot 37.1-percent (23-for-62) from the floor, 29.6-percent (8-for-27) from beyond the arc and 69.2-percent (9-for-13) from the charity stripe.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- WPI jumped out to an 8-0 advantage over the opening 4:03 of the contest before MIT got on the board with a pair of free throws from Jurko. WPI's run came via three points from Aaron Todd, three from James Loring and a pair on a Jake Wisniewski layup. 

- MIT answered as the Cardinal and Gray took its first and only needed lead of the game with 9:07 to play in the first half when Korb buried a deep shot from behind the arc to make the score 17-16 in favor of the Cambridge's Engineers. 

- Over that final nine minutes of action, MIT outscored WPI by a 19-14 margin as the score was 36-30 after the opening 20 minutes of play. Eleven of the 19 points came from Butala, which included a 2-for-2 performance at the charity stripe to give MIT its largest leaf of the half, while Korb chipped in eight, Pierce contributed two and Jurko added one on a free throw.

- In the second stanza, MIT maintained its advantage all the way through until the end of the game. Leading 60-51 with 5:07 to play, Pierce scored the entirety of MIT's 13 points which included a three pointer, a layup and a perfect 8-for-8 performance at the free throw stripe sealing the 73-65 NEWMAC victory for Cambridge's Engineers.

UP NEXT:

- MIT returns to action on Monday, January 9 with a non-conference matchup at home against Fitchburg State University beginning at 7:00 p.m., while WPI heads to No. 1 nationally-ranked Babson College for a league game on Wednesday, January 11 with tipoff slated for 7:00 p.m.

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