January 16, 2008

MIT Falls at Coast Guard, 64-58

Jan. 16, 2008

Box Score

NEW LONDON, Conn. - Despite opening the game with a strong offensive run that appeared to leave Coast Guard reeling, MIT endured long stretches in both halves without scoring and the Bears broke into the win column in NEWMAC play with a 64-58 victory. Coast Guard scored 18 second-chance points and finished plus-nine on the glass.

The Engineers (9-6, 1-2) hit their first three shots from beyond the arc and jumped out to a 9-0 lead. The Cardinal and Gray connected on its first five three-pointers, the fifth by Will Mroz which pushed MIT in front, 19-7, with 14:17 left in the first half.

Coast Guard (10-3, 1-2) responded to the Engineers' explosive start by piecing together a 23-3 run, including 15 straight points, to take a 30-22 lead with 2:47 left in the first half. Billy Johnson's three at 1:54 marked only MIT's second field goal since Mroz capped the Engineers' early boost over 13 minutes earlier. Coast Guard led 33-27 at the break.

The Bears, which led by as many as 17 in the second half after a three by Grant Johnson put CGA ahead 47-30 with 14:29 left in the game, saw MIT cut the deficit to just four at 56-52 with 2:40 left. Trailing 61-56 with 32 seconds remaining in regulation, MIT's 17th turnover of the contest eliminated any thought of a comeback as Coast Guard held on to snap a three-game losing streak.

Senior Grant Johnson led all scorers with 17 points, as he hit four three-pointers, including the 200th of his career. Senior Jeff Prebeck had 15 points to go with his team-high six rebounds while classmate Al Sowers added 12 points.

Junior Jimmy Bartolotta, the NEWMAC's leading scorer at 25.8 points per game, led MIT with 15 points despite being held over 10 points under his scoring average for the second straight game. Junior Hamidou Soumare added 12 points and a game-high seven rebounds while senior Will Mroz was also in double figures for the Engineers with 10 points. Bartolotta added three steals and two blocks in the losing effort while junior Bradley Gampel totaled a game-best eight assists and added two steals to his league-leading total.

Coast Guard shot 47.9 percent from the field (23-of-48) and a sizzling 52.6 percent from three-point range (10-of-19) while MIT shot 43.5 percent from both the field (20-of-46) and three-point territory (10-of-23).