Roberts Leads No. 8 Men's Basketball in 84-81 Road Win at WPI in Regular-Season Finale

Photo by Robert Krawitz
Photo by Robert Krawitz

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 8 MIT 84, WPI 81

- Records: No. 8 MIT (22-3, 12-2 NEWMAC), WPI (17-8, 8-6 NEWMAC)

- Location: Worcester, Mass. (Harrington Auditorium)

- The Lead: Led by a 25-point, 11-rebound double-double by senior Tim Roberts (Oak Bluffs, Mass.), No. 8 ranked MIT closed out the regular-season with an 84-81 win over WPI in front of a boisterous crowd at Harrington Auditorium on Saturday afternoon. 

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- WPI jumped out to a 15-6 lead over the first 6:09, capped by a pair of free throws by Reid Walker. Senior AJ Jurko (Weston, Fla.) scored on a layup at the 13:28 mark to end a scoreless stretch of 3:50 for the Engineers, but WPI continued to hold a seven-point advantage at 24-17 with 8:10 left before halftime.

- MIT cut the lead down to three at 27-24 on a three-pointer by sophomore Ian Hinkley (Raleigh, N.C.) and eventually took its first lead at 28-27 on a layup from Jurko. The visitors continued to lead by two at 32-30 after a pair of Jurko free throws, but it was WPI's Dakota Wheeler who drilled a three from the corner to put WPI up 33-32 at the break.

- The Cambridge Engineers opened the second half on a 17-5 run over the first 4:42 and jumped out to the 49-38 advantage behind eight early points by sophomore Hamilton Forsythe (Weston, Conn.). WPI immediately countered with a 12-0 run of its own and regained the lead at 50-49 on a pullup jumper from McNamara.

- With 7:54 remaining, McNamara hit a pair of free throws that tied the game for the final time at 58-58. A three-point play from Roberts on the next possession gave MIT the lead for good at 61-58, but both teams battled and the game remained close. Another three-point play by Roberts with 2:49 on the block put the score at 76-68 before the hosts put together a 12-2 spurt to again make it a two-point margin with 28.9 seconds left. MIT knocked down eight free throws in the final 1:25 of the game to seal the win and earn the regular-season series sweep of WPI. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Roberts now has 17 double-doubles on the year and 21 in his last 29 games dating back to the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Forsythe totaled 18 points behind four three-pointers, along with 16 points and a team-high eight assists by senior Bradley Jomard (Paris, France). Jurko was also in double figures with 16 points and five assists, including 5-for-5 from the free throw line.

- As a team, MIT registered 20 assists on 27 made field goals and forced 15 WPI turnovers.

- McNamara posted a game-high 27 points to lead WPI, followed by 11 points and eight rebounds each by Walker and Garrett Stephenson.

- MIT is ranked eighth in this week's D3Hoops.com National Poll as the Engineers are down two spots from No. 6 in last week's rankings. In addition, MIT sits at No. 2 in the latest NCAA Northeast Region rankings that were released earlier this week. 

UP NEXT:

- MIT enters the NEWMAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will host the winner of No. 4 Babson/No. 5 WPI in the NEWMAC semifinals on Thursday evening at 7 p.m.

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