- Records: MIT (20-5, 10-4 NEWMAC); WPI (14-11, 8-6 NEWMAC)
- Score: MIT 71, WPI 59
- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)
- The Lead: Led by a combined 47 points from junior captains AJ Jurko (Weston, Fla.) and Cameron Korb (Los Gatos, Calif.), the MIT men's basketball team closed out the regular season with a 71-59 home win over WPI on Saturday afternoon. The Engineers sweep the regular-season series from WPI and have now defeated their rivals in six straight meetings.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- MIT jumped out to a quick lead at 9-6 after the first of five Jurko three-pointers on the day. The Engineers extended the lead out to 12 at 30-18 with 7:58 left in the half after another Jurko three, but saw that lead cut back to 10 moments later on the second dunk of the day from WPI's Chris Rodgers.
- WPI sliced the advantage down to eight with 4:46 remaining after a layup from Aaron Todd, but MIT closed the half with a 9-2 spurt to seize a 41-26 advantage at the break. MIT shot 60.9 percent from the field in the first half, including 60 percent from three (9-for-15), to stake to the double-digit lead.
- In the second half, the lead stood at 53-36 with 14:30 on the clock after a pair of free throws from sophomore Nacho Nwana (White Plains, N.Y.). WPI countered with a 13-1 run over the next 5:45 though, including a pair of Jake Wisniewski layups, to make it a 54-49 game heading into the final 8:45 of action.
- A WPI three from Rodgers with 5:23 remaining put the lead at just four at 61-57 and it remained that way for nearly the next two minutes. MIT freshman Ian Hinkley (Raleigh, N.C.) connected on a three from the corner though late in the shot clock, pushing the hosts edge back to 64-57 as MIT called a timeout with 3:44 left. Rodgers hit two free throws for WPI at the 3:29 mark to pull back within five, but the host Engineers hit five throws down the stretch to seal the win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Jurko nearly had another double-double as he finished with a game-high 24 points on 5-of-6 shooting from three. He also finished with a game-high nine assists and now has 23 over his last two games. Korb also hit five threes, en route to 23 points, as he was also 8-for-9 at the free throw line. As a team, MIT shot 53.9 percent from the field and 50 percent from three while outrebounding WPI 27-24.
- WPI was paced by 17 points and eight rebounds from Rodgers as the Engineers shot 45.1 percent from the field, 72.7 percent from the free throw line and turned MIT over 17 times. WPI also outscored MIT by a 32-10 margin in the paint and 21-7 from the bench.
- The Engineers are among those receiving votes in the national poll and are also ranked No. 9 in the latest NCAA Northeast Regional Rankings which were released earlier this week.
- MIT enters the NEWMAC Tournament as the No. 3 seed and will take on No. 2 seeded Babson College in the semifinals on Saturday, February 24th at top-seeded Springfield College beginning at 3:30 p.m. The full bracket will be announced at www.newmacsports.com.