January 12, 2008

Babson Men's Basketball Stops MIT, 75-63

Jan. 12, 2008

Box Score

Courtesy Babson Sports Information

BABSON PARK, Mass. - Babson College head coach Stephen Brennan recorded his 200th career victory on Saturday, as his team defeated visiting MIT, 75-63, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's basketball contest at Staake Gymnasium. With the victory, the Beavers improved to 4-9 overall and 1-1 in the conference, while MIT slipped to 9-5 overall and 1-1 in the NEWMAC.

Senior tri-captain Kyle McDonald led all players with 23 points for Babson, including 19 in the second half. McDonald also tallied five rebounds and four assists in the win, while junior Zach Etten finished with 18 points, five boards, three assists, and three steals. Senior Greg Bush also enjoyed a strong game off the bench for the Beavers, amassing 16 points, six rebounds, and two blocks.

Senior Will Mroz paced MIT with a career-high 22 points, 18 of which came via his six three-pointers. Junior Billy Johnson added 14 points for the Engineers, while junior Jimmy Bartolotta also netted 14 - more than 12 points shy of his league-leading average of 26.7 per contest. Bartolotta, who shot well from the field with a 6-for-11 clip, also collected a team-high six rebounds and dished out three assists depite being saddled with his lowest offensive output of the year.

"Our effort today was real disappointing," noted Johnson. "We gave up too many unforced turnovers, over-penetrated on offense and did a terrible job on the boards. If nothing else, we've proven to be a resilient team when we get knocked down, and we'll be ready to deliver a much better performance next week at Coast Guard."

In a back-and-forth first half that featured 10 ties and seven lead changes, Babson pulled ahead late on a trifecta by Bush and eventually took a slim 36-34 advantage into the break. Etten led the Beavers with 11 points at the half, while Mroz paced all players with 14 in the opening session.

The game remained tight early in the second half, with neither team leading by more than four through the first 10 minutes. MIT threatened to pull away with a 6-0 run that gave the Eningeers a 47-43 edge with 13:47 remaining, but the visitors were dealt a tough blow moments later when leading rebounder and shot-blocker Hamidou Soumare fouled out after being whistled for back-to-back infractions with 13 minutes left to play.

MIT later used a 5-0 spurt to build its largest lead of the game at 55-49 with 9:11 to go, but Babson answered with a 9-0 run that featured seven points from McDonald to go up 58-55. Johnson knocked down a three moments later to tie the contest, but the Beavers took the lead for good when Bush drilled his third of the day from beyond the arc at 5:43.

The Engineers stayed close until the four-minute mark when a short jumper by Bartolotta cut their deficit to 65-63, but Babson scored the final 10 points of the contest, including six straight by McDonald, to clinch the 75-63 victory.

For Brennan, career win number 200 comes in his 13th season as head coach at Babson. A five-time conference Coach of the Year, he now boasts a career record of 200-140, ranking him second behind Serge DeBari (224) on the program's all-time win list.