Jan. 17, 2009
Courtesy Springfield Sports Information
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Preseason All-American Jimmy Bartolotta led the MIT men's basketball team to an 89-64 victory over Springfield College by scoring 33 points against the Pride in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest at Springfield's Blake Arena.
With the loss, Springfield (7-8) falls below the .500 mark for the first time this season, and is now 0-3 in league play. MIT, meanwhile, is now 12-4 overall, and is 4-0 in the NEWMAC, the first time it has ever begun conference play with a 4-0 record. The Engineers have won five in a row overall.
MIT led by 20 at the half (55-35), when this game was really decided. Bartolotta scored 24 points in that first stanza, playing all 20 minutes. In the opening frame, MIT shot .593 from the floor (16-of-27), and a sizzling 9-of-14 from three-point range (.643). Bartolotta was 4-of-6 from behind the arc, while freshman guard Jamie Karraker was 3-of-4, and 6-8 senior forward Billy Johnson was 2-of-3. Bartolotta, a 6-4 senior from Littleton, Colo., was 8-of-11 from the floor, and 4-of-5 from the three throw line through the first 20 minutes.
Springfield hung with MIT for the first 11 minutes or so. When junior guard Ryan Blackmon made a three-pointer with 16:41 left, the Pride led 10-9. But a three-pointer by Bartolotta with 15:37 left gave the Engineers the lead for good at 12-10. Freshman forward Evan Christner provided a spark midway through that first half for the Pride. His lay-up with exactly nine minutes left cut MIT's lead to 24-20. But from that point on, MIT outscored Springfield, 31-15, for the remainder of the period.
After all was said and done, Bartolotta scored 33 points, adding four rebounds, two assists, and a block for the game. He was 10-for-14 from the floor, 5-of-7 from 3-point range, and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe in just 27 minutes of work. Johnson scored 22 points, and added five rebounds and two steals. Karraker was the third double-figure scorer for MIT with 13 points, while fellow rookie Billy Bender scored eight points, and added three assists and three steals.
As a team, MIT made 13-of-24 three-point attempts, good for an outstanding .542 percentage.
For Springfield, Blackmon led with 16 points, including 3-of-6 from three-point range and 5-of-5 from the line. Senior center John Strawson had 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists. Christner finished with 11 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
The closest Springfield got it in the second half was within 15 points on two occasions, the last with 5:08 remaining (77-62) on a three-pointer by Strawson. But MIT ended on a 12-2 run to finish it off. The 89 points and 25-point margin of victory were the most ever by an MIT team against Springfield, while the Engineers also set an Institute record for the most points scored in a conference game.