January 29, 2011

Men's Basketball Drops Hard-Fought Decision to WPI, 62-50

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Three players finished in double figures for MIT but it was not enough to overcome swarming WPI defense and a game-high 20 points by Jeffrey Robinson, in a 62-50 loss in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon. MIT falls to 14-6 and 4-3 in the NEWMAC while WPI (17-3, 7-0) has now won 10 straight and remains unbeaten in league play.

The game was physical from the outset, with the teams combining for 41 personal fouls, and both defenses were able to stifle their opponents, as the two highest scoring teams in the NEWMAC were held well under their season averages.

After a Mitchell Kates three-pointer brought the homestanding Engineers back within one, 44-43, with 6:25 remaining, WPI would score 11 of the game's next 13 points, including a pair of key trifectas by Ben Etten and Kyle Nadeau. Nadeau's triple was one of four on the game for the senior guard and put the visitors up 10 with just 2:40 to go. MIT would get no closer than seven the rest of the way.

WPI took a six-point lead early in the second half but Kates responded to cut the lead in half just a minute into the stanza. Neither team would lead by more than four over the next 13 and a half minutes, until the decisive WPI run.

WPI jumped out to an early11-point lead, as Robinson took over for the visiting Engineers, scoring nine points during an 11-0 first-half spurt. The hosts shored up their defense down the stretch, cutting the deficit to five at the break.

Kates had 17 points to go along with four rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Jamie Karraker had 14 points and Will Tashman finished with 10 points and six boards for the Cardinal and Gray, who made just eight-of-27 shots from behind the arc.

Robinson was seven-for-14 from the field and five-of-six from the line, adding a pair of rebounds and an assist to his 20 points in just 29 minutes of action. Nadeau was four-of-six from long distance en route to 15 points. The visitors benefitted from a 30 to 12 advantage from the foul line, getting 20 of their 62 points at the charity stripe.

MIT will be back in action on Wednesday, February 2, when it travels to Babson College looking to avenge an early season loss at the hands of the Beavers. The game tips at 7:00 p.m. WPI is off until Saturday, February 5, when the Engineers will play at Wheaton College at 2:00 p.m.