- Score: No. 7 MIT 74, WPI 44
- Records: No. 7 MIT (11-1, 1-0 NEWMAC), WPI (9-3, 0-1 NEWMAC)
- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)
- The Lead: Overcoming a slow start, the No. 7 MIT men's basketball team opened NEWMAC play with a 74-44 home win over WPI on Wednesday night at Rockwell Cage. MIT has now won 11 straight games overall and the last seven meetings with WPI.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- WPI came out strong on both ends of the court as the Engineers jumped to a 10-2 lead through 3:53 following a layup by Kahleb Downing. MIT settled down on offense and countered with a 12-2 spurt and took its first lead of the game on a Nacho Nwana (White Plains, N.Y.) layup to make it 14-12.
- The Cambridge Engineers pushed the edge to 19-14 on a three from the right wing by senior Bradley Jomard (Paris, France) and later moved to a double-digit advantage at 25-14 following a layup from AJ Jurko (Weston, Fla.).
- The visitors endured a 9-0 MIT scoring run over a span of nearly six minutes, but that came to an end on a three from the corner by Ethan Harrell that made it a 25-17 game and forced an MIT timeout.
- MIT again made it a double-digit margin at 32-21 and stretched the lead to 38-24 on a layup by senior Tim Roberts (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) with 15 seconds remaining in the half. WPI wasn't done though as Downing drilled a three from the top of the key at the buzzer to send the game into the break at 38-27.
- With 14:32 left in the game, the hosts stretched the lead out to 20 for the first time at 49-29 on a fastbreak layup off the glass from senior Dakota Pierce (Thousand Oaks, Calif.). A three-point play from Jomard made it a 72-42 margin with 3:13 remaining before the hosts pulled out the 30-point win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Behind six steals from Jurko and five from Pierce, MIT tied the program's single-game record for steals with 20. In addition, the Engineers forced 28 turnovers and turned those into 26 points on the other end.
- Jurko was the leading scorer with 25 points and eight assists, while Jomard added 24 and Roberts had 12 points and 10 rebounds. For Roberts, this was his sixth straight double-double and eighth overall. In addition, MIT also dominated WPI in the paint by a 52-16 scoring advantage.
- For WPI, Reid Walker finished with 10 points as the lone Engineer in double figures. WPI also held a 34-31 rebounding advantage and outscored MIT by an 18-12 margin from three-point land.
- The Engineers are ranked No. 7 in the most recent D3Hoops.com National Poll, up one spot from the previous rankings.
- MIT returns to action on the road on Saturday, January 5th as the Engineers travel to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for a 3 p.m. start.