Jan. 17, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Senior Danny Kanamori scored a season-high 20 points, and Mike D'Auria added 18 markers and 10 boards as MIT (11-4, 4-1) grabbed sole possession of first place in the NEWMAC standings with a 62-54 victory over Clark University (6-8, 2-2), Tuesday, in Rockwell Cage. The Engineers clinched the game with a fantastic run at the free-throw line; hitting 13-of-14 in the final seven minutes of regulation.
Clark dominated most of the first half behind the incredible shooting of Cory Szklarz. The Cougars' senior guard scored 20 points in the opening period on 8-of-9 shooting as Clark stretched its lead from two on the opening possession to a game-high 11 with 4:20 remaining in the half. After stifling the Engineers' attack for the first 16 minutes and building a commanding 29-18 lead on the road, Clark's only field goal in the waning minutes of the frame was a game-tying three by Byron Roberts at the buzzer. With 3:45 left on the clock, Kanamori knocked down a three. On the following possession, D'Auria made a slashing move to the basket where he scored before adding the bonus point from the line. Another triple by Kanamori and 4-of-4 shooting at the charity stripe completed the 15-4 scoring run as MIT rallied back to take a 33-30 lead. Roberts' clock-beating shot from near half-court leveled the score at the halftime break.
Opposite of the first half, it was the Engineers who dictated the game's tempo in the final 20 minutes of regulation. MIT led nearly the entire half, although the Cardinal and Gray were unable to extend the lead past six until the closing minute. After carrying the Cougars with a tremendous offensive performance in the first half, Szklarz was held without a field goal in the second. However, he did supply points when Clark needed it most. Trailing 43-37 with 10 minutes remaining in the game, Szklarz nailed four straight free-throws on consecutive possessions.
After a strong lay-in by Tim Dutille courtesy of a penetrating pass by Dominique Beck, Clark found itself back in front at 44-43. Despite the comeback, the Engineers pulled away again, but not enough to keep Clark out of striking distance. D'Auria connected on four free-throws over the next two minutes, while Hamidou Soumare sparked the crowd with a tip-in as the shot clock was set to expire. A Lay-up by Tim Dutille with 1:56 left on the clock sliced MIT's lead to 57-54, but the Cougars were unable to hit from outside as the Engineers sealed the win at the line.
D'Auria was 9-of-9 at the free-throw line en route to his second double-double in 10 days. Kanamori added a season-best seven rebounds in the winning effort, while Soumare led all players with a career-high 14 boards. Alex Krull also finished in double-digits for the Engineers, going 3-of-5 from three-point range to close with 11 points.
Szklarz finished 8-of-14 from the floor en route to a game-high 24 points, while Dutille chipped in 13. Beck scored just five for the Cougars' attack, but dished out a game-high eight assists.
MIT shot 37% from the field and 78% (21-of-27) from the free-throw line to ensure its first 4-1 league start in program history. The Engineers held Clark to 40% shooting for the tilt, including a 6-of-22 (27.3%) performance in the second half.