Roberts Powers No. 12 Engineers Past Skidmore in the NCAA First Round

Photo by Frank Poulin
Photo by Frank Poulin

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 12 MIT 90, Skidmore 67

- Records: No. 12 MIT (23-4), Skidmore (19-8)

- Location: Swarthmore, Pa. (Tarble Pavilion)

- The Lead: Led by a career-high 28-point, 21-rebound double-double from senior Tim Roberts (Oak Bluffs, Mass.), the No. 12 MIT men's basketball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 90-67 win over Skidmore College on Friday night.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- After a quick 2-0 advantage for Skidmore, MIT embarked on a 16-4 run over the next three minutes to build to a 16-6 lead following a pair of Ian Hinkley (Raleigh, N.C.) three-pointers. A quick 5-0 Skidmore spurt, sparked by a deep three from Edvinas Rupkus, cut the Engineer lead down to 16-11 with 14:12 on the clock.

- MIT led by at least six over the rest of the first half and by as many as 18 at 44-26 on Roberts layup after a great pass from senior AJ Jurko (Weston, Fla.). Noah Meren capped off the first-half scoring for the Thoroughbreds on a layup down the lane with 47 seconds remaining to send the game into the break at 46-31.

- Jurko and Roberts led MIT with 14 first-half points to go along with 11 rebounds from Roberts and 75 percent shooting from three (6-for-8). Meren was the top scorer for Skidmore with 13 points as the Thoroughbreds turned the ball over seven times in the opening 20 minutes.

- MIT pushed the lead out to over 20 on a layup by senior Bradley Jomard (Paris, France) with 13:54 left that made it a 60-39 score. The Engineers continued to lead at 69-48 before a 9-0 Skidmore run that was sparked by five points from Rupkus closed the deficit to 12 at 69-57. Six free throws in the final 2:14 sealed the victory for MIT as the Engineers picked the 23-point victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:  

- Roberts now has 18 double-doubles on the season and has recorded a double-double in five straight NCAA Tournament games after today's 28-point, 21-rebound performance.

- In addition to Roberts, all five starters finished in double figures as Jurko had 26 points and seven assists to go along with 12 points and seven assists also by Jomard. Sophomore Hamilton Forsythe (Weston, Conn.) tallied 13 points and his two three-pointers and Hinkley ended up with 11 points, six rebounds and a game-high four blocks.

- Meren led the Thoroughbreds with 25 points, while Rupkus picked up an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double and Chase Ta added 10 points and a team-high six assists.

- For the game, MIT committed a season-low seven turnovers while shooting 52.9 percent from three and 91.3 percent from the free throw line.

- MIT is now 10-8 all-time in NCAA Tournament play and holds a 2-1 advantage over Skidmore in the all-time series as both wins have come in postseason play.

- MIT is ranked No. 12 in this week's D3Hoops.com National Poll as the Engineers are down five spots from No. 5 in last week's rankings. In addition, MIT remained at No. 5 in the final Northeast Region rankings. 

UP NEXT:

- The Engineers advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and will face No. 6 ranked Swarthmore on Saturday, March 2nd at 7 p.m.

STAY CONNECTED:

- For the latest on MIT Athletics, follow the Engineers via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.