CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Will Tashman knocked down a huge three-pointer to tie the game and then converted a pair of clutch free throws down the stretch to help No. 19 MIT come from behind and defeat Tufts University, 71-69, in non-conference men's basketball action Wednesday night. Tashman's long-ball knotted the game at 67 with just over two minutes remaining and his work from the charity stripe gave the Engineers the lead for good, as they snapped a two-game skid to improve to 10-3 on the season.
After trailing by as many as 10 late in the second half, the Cardinal and Gray mounted a furious comeback, outscoring the Jumbos (6-5), 18-6, over the final seven minutes of the contest. Tashman began the run with a pair from the foul line and Nick Davis cut the deficit to five with a three-pointer two minutes later.
Leading 65-60 with four minutes to go, Tufts threw away a sideline inbounds pass that Kates was able to take for an easy layup to bring Tech within three. Two possessions later, Mithcell Kates found Tashman at the top of the arc and the sophomore forward netted just his third trifecta of the season. Davis came up with a key block at the defensive end and, after being fouled on the rebound, Tashman put the Engineers back on top, as he calmly sank both foul shots.
Alex Goldfarb would step out of bounds on the next Tufts possession and Amauris Quezada's tying three-point attempt was off the mark, clinching the hard fought victory for MIT.
Anderson, who had a game-high 19 points, converted a layup with 7:19 to go to put Tufts on top 63-53, its largest lead of the night. From there, the Tech defense rose to the occasion, as Anderson was held without a field goal the rest of the way, while Tashman and Kates went to work at the other end of the court, combining for 14 points during the decisive stretch.
Tufts turned a four-point deficit into a four-point advantage late in the first half, thanks to a 9-0 run that was only snapped by a Kates foul shot after time expired.
Kates paced the Engineers with 18 points to go along with four assists, four rebounds and three steals. Tashman finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the year while Davis also pitched in 15. Tech was able to take advantage of its size, finishing with 30 points in the paint while shooting 57.5% from the field.
Anderson was one of four Tufts players to finish in double figures, as he was joined by Goldfarb (16), Quezada (13) and Alex Orchowski (10). Goldfarb's four three-pointers helped the Jumbos knock down 10-of-23 long-range attempts,
MIT is now done with the non-conference portion of its schedule and will open up New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Saturday, January 8 at home against Babson College at 2:00 p.m. Tufts will visit another NEWMAC opponent, Clark University, next Monday at 7:00 p.m.