NORTON, Mass. - The MIT men's basketball team never trailed during a 79-61 win over Wheaton College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday afternoon at Emerson Gymnasium. MIT sophomore Mitchell Kates poured in a career-high 34 points to help the Engineers win their third straight NEWMAC game, after starting off league play 0-2.
The Lyons drop their third straight in slipping to 6-10 overall and 2-4 at the halfway point of their league slate, while the Engineers improve to 13-5 and move into a tie for second place in the NEWMAC at 3-2.
Senior Anthony Coppola led Wheaton in scoring for the seventh straight game, pouring in 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting. He had 19 points by halftime. Junior Brendan Degnan added 12 points, while freshman Brian Grossman matched a season best with nine.
Kates turned in an impressive shooting performance, going 11-of-15 overall, 4-of-6 from three-point territory and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe en route to a game-best 34 points. He also had a game-high five assists. Classmate Will Tashman added 14 points, seven boards and four assists.
Fouls were ramped, as the teams combined for 44 free-throw attempts and 42 fouls. The hosts went 19-of-25 from the charity stripe, while the Engineers made 18 of their 21 tries. MIT also held a 31-21 rebounding advantage while shooting 52 percent from the floor. Wheaton shot 45.2 percent but just 36.4 percent in the second half.
MIT jumped out to 6-0 and 8-2 leads before the Lyons answered with nine straight points to force an 11-all tie at 16:08 of the opening half. Coppola single-handedly kept the Blue and White close, scoring 11 of Wheaton's initial 15 points, as the hosts trailed 18-15 at 13:31. The Engineers took over from there, using a 19-4 run to balloon their advantage to 37-19 at 7:42. MIT led by as many as 19 before carrying a comfortable 48-34 cushion into the locker room.
A Grossman triple at 14:13 of the second half kept the Lyons in striking distance, down 54-42, but Kates scored nine of the game's next 10 points to give his team a 63-43 lead with 11:45 remaining. Wheaton got as close as 67-54 with less than eight minutes to play before MIT put the contest out of reach with 10 unanswered points for a 77-54 bulge at the 3:55 mark.
Next up, Tech will host Coast Guard on Wednesday, January 26 as part of a men's and women's doubleheader. The men's game begins at 8:00 p.m. The Lyons break from league play on Tuesday when they travel to Medford to take on Tufts University at 7:00 p.m.
Release Courtesy of Wheaton College Sports Information