MILTON, Mass. – Junior Matt Redfield (Los Altos, Calif.) scored a career-high 27 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the MIT men's basketball team to a 69-62 road victory over Curry College this afternoon. The Engineers built a 17-point second half lead and then held off a comeback attempt by the Colonels, who were led by Antonio Jones' 16 points.
MIT (3-1) and Curry (0-3) exchanged the lead three times in the opening minutes before a pair of free throws by Redfield gave the Engineers a 5-4 advantage. It proved to be the last time in the game that the lead would change hands. MIT slowly pulled ahead and a three-pointer by sophomore Justin Pedley (Kennewick, Wash.), one of five he would drain in the game, put the Engineers on top 10-6.
A layup by Kenneth Ramos brought the Colonels back to within two, but Redfield answered with a three-point play that started MIT on a 12-2 run. Redfield accounted for seven of the points during the four-minute stretch, and his free throws at the 10:43 mark gave the Engineers a 22-10 advantage.
Redfield, who hit 13 of 19 from the free throw line during the contest, hit one of two with five and a half minutes left in the half to up the MIT lead to 31-19. Curry took advantage of a pair of turnovers by the Engineers to put a quick 7-0 run on the board, cutting the lead down to 31-26 after back-to-back jumpers by Stephen O'Neal. MIT saw freshman Tim Butala (Monroe, Conn.) score on a layup and Pedley hit another three in the final minutes as the Engineers pushed their lead back to eight at 36-28 at the half.
MIT started the second half on a 9-0 run, holding Curry without a basket until three and a half minutes in. A pair of layups by junior Andrew Acker (Merion Station, Pa.) sandwiched around a trey from Pedley had the Engineers holding a 45-28 advantage at the 17:29 mark. Curry answered with five straight points, cutting the deficit down to 12 after a lay in by Jones.
A Redfield free throw with 9:06 left had the MIT lead back up to 16 at 53-37, but the Curry came back again with another run. Sparked by a Carlos Ribeiro trey with 7:39 left, the Colonels went on an 11-2 run in a little over two minutes. Curry added another trey from Rodney Beldo along the way and when O'Neal hit a layup off an MIT turnover, the Colonels were down just seven at 55-48 with four minutes left.
A dunk by Redfield with two and a half minutes left extended the MIT advantage to nine at 59-50, but the Colonels held the Engineers without a field goal for the rest of the game and crept back to within five at 65-60 after Jones converted a three-point play. MIT hit just four of eight free throws down the stretch, but it was enough to hold off Curry and claim the win for the Engineers.
Redfield also stood out on the defensive end of the floor where he blocked five Curry shots. Pedley finished with 21 points, hitting on 5-of-12 from behind the three-point line. The Engineers held a big advantage at the free throw line where they hit on 24 of 35 attempts, outscoring Curry from the charity stripe by 15 points. Beldo and Lambros Papalambros also reached double figures for Curry, scoring 12 and 10 points apiece.
Both squads will be back in action on Tuesday, November 26 when MIT visits Tufts University for a 7:00 p.m. game and Curry travels to Williams College for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.