- Records: No. 19 MIT (25-5); No. 18 Middlebury (21-7)
- Score: No. 19 MIT 79, No. 18 Middlebury 76
- Location: Mahwah, N.J. (Bradley Center - Ramapo College)
- The Lead: In a game that was a single-possession contest for much of the second half, the No. 19 ranked MIT men's basketball team rallied past No. 18 Middlebury on Friday night to advance to the 2018 NCAA Division III Elite Eight. This is just the second Elite Eight appearance in program history and the first time since the 2011-12 season that saw MIT end up in the Final Four. This was the team's first meeting with Middlebury since the opener of the 2006-07 season as the Engineers now hold a 13-6 advantage over the Panthers.
IMPORTANT TICKET INFORMATION FOR SATURDAY
- MIT has an allotment of 700 tickets for Saturday's Elite Eight Game that begins at 7 p.m. at Ramapo. There will be an MIT table at the entrance and tickets will be $10 each, cash only, with the doors opening at 5:30 p.m. Please get there early to ensure that you can get a ticket from the MIT allotment.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Panthers jumped out to a quick 12-5 lead over the first 5:25 of action before a 13-0 MIT run over the next 3:19 gave the Engineers their largest advantage of the half at 18-12. The scoring spurt featured threes from freshman Ian Hinkley (Raleigh, N.C.), junior AJ Jurko (Weston, Fla.) and junior Cameron Korb (Los Gatos, Calif.).
- The Panthers answered with a number of transition baskets, including a scoop shot by Jack Farrell that put Middlebury up 25-20 at the 7:08 mark. The Engineers tied the game twice more in the half, including at 29-29 on a corner three from freshman Hamilton Forsythe (Weston, Conn.) before the Panthers took the eventual 37-34 edge into the break. Another Forsythe three with 31 seconds left tied the contest at 34-34, but Middlebury's Matt Folger knocked in a three off an inbounds play to end the first period.
- In the second half, it was the Panthers that kept the Engineers at bay for a bit until a Hinkley layup off a pass from junior Bradley Jomard (Paris, France) tied the game at 54-54 with 11:38 remaining. Middlebury countered though and seemed to be gaining momentum as the Panthers stretched the margin to 67-62 at the 7:25 mark on a putback from Nick Tarantino.
- Two free throws from junior Tim Roberts (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) started a quick 8-0 MIT run that included threes from Hinkley and Forsythe to put the Engineers back in front at 70-67. A Farrell triple for Middlebury tied the game for the final time at 70-70 before two free throws by Jurko and three points from Jomard staked MIT to the 75-70 edge with 3:40 on the clock.
- The Panthers closed to within three and had a chance to cut into the lead further before Jomard blocked Middlebury's Eric McCord on the way to the basket. Middlebury did eventually make it a one-point game with 55.2 seconds remaining and the scored stayed that way until 14.4 seconds were left and Jurko was fouled. The teams exchanged a number of free throws over the final seconds, but the clinching ones came off the hand of Korb with 8.1 on the clock as the Engineers held off the Panthers for the win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Forsythe led MIT with 23 points on 8-for-15 shooting, while Roberts posted his third double-double of the NCAA Tournament with 13 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. Jurko added 18 points and a team-high seven assists in 40 minutes, along with 17 points from Hinkley off the bench that included four three-pointers.
- For Middlebury, Jack Daly finished with a 21-point, 13-rebound double-double, while Farrell tallied 15 points that included a trio of three-pointers. Middlebury finished the game with seven blocks, including six by Folger.
- The teams were even on the glass at 39 rebounds each, while the Engineers outscored the Panthers 33-18 from three-point land. Middlebury held a substantial 44-28 edge in points in the paint, while the Engineers turned 11 Panther turnovers into 19 points on the other end.
- MIT is back in action on Saturday night at 7 p.m. as the Engineers will take on Ramapo College for a berth in the NCAA Division III Final Four in Salem, Va.