WENHAM, Mass. – Trailing by a point midway through the second half, MIT put together a 7-0 run that put the Engineers in the lead for good as they defeated Gordon College by a final of 64-53. Senior Mitchell Kates (Colts Neck, N.J.) led all scores for the No. 1 ranked Engineers with 23 points, with senior Will Tashman (Atherton, Calif.) picking up his first double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Tashman and Kates scored four each over the first five minutes as MIT (2-0) built an 8-2 early advantage. Gordon (0-1) cut the lead down to three after Hans Miersma hit a jumper in the paint to make it 10-7. But Kates came up with steals on the Fighting Scots next two possessions which led to layups for both himself and Tashman as the Engineers built their largest lead of the night, 14-7, with 12:34 left in the half.
Another Tashman jumper built the MIT lead to nine before Gordon started to chip away at the Engineers lead. Three-pointers by Park Thomas and David Dempsey had Gordon back within three at 20-17 at the 7:44 mark. Back-to-back baskets by sophomore Andrew Acker (Merion Station, Pa.) and freshman Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.) pushed the lead back to seven. MIT still lead by five with two minutes left after a pair of Kates free throws, but four straight points by the Scots made it 28-27 with 1:19 left. Senior James Burke (Scotch Plains, N.J.) hit a pair of free throws to make it a three-point MIT advantage with 10 ticks on the clock, but Thomas connected on a trey with four seconds left to tie it up at 30-all at the half.
Both teams were cold at the start of the second half. Miersma gave Gordon its first lead of the game a minute and a half in, but his shot was the only one the Fighting Scots hit in their first six attempts. MIT, which missed its first seven shots of the half, was able to stay close and tied it back up when Tashman broke the streak with a shot three and a half minutes in.
After that there were four lead changes and three ties over the next five minutes. Taylor Bajema put Gordon on top with 11:45 to play at 39-38 on a three-point play, but Tashman gave MIT the lead for good on its next trip with a layup. A trey from Kates and a layup from sophomore Dennis Levine (Weston, Conn.) made it a six-point advantage with nine minutes to play.
Gordon could never come up with a scoring run for the rest of the game, as MIT answered every Fighting Scot score but one. Gordon was within four after a Dempsey jumper made it 52-48 with 4:25 left, but MIT scored five straight and held the Fighting Scots scoreless for over three minutes as the Engineers built their advantage to 57-48 after Tashman's final field goal of the night. MIT iced the victory by hitting on seven of eight free throws over the final minute.
Kates and Tashman were the only two players in double figures for MIT, which shot 46 percent for the game and held a 34-24 edge on the boards. Dempsey led Gordon, which shot 46.7 percent, with 15 points and six rebounds. Thomas also reached double figures for the Fighting Scots, finishing with 13 points.
MIT will make its 2012-13 home debut in its next outing as the Engineers host Emmanuel College on Tuesday, November 20 at 8:00 p.m. in Rockwell Cage. Gordon will also play next Tuesday, hosting Salem State at 7:30 p.m.