February 7, 2007

Bartolotta's Near Triple-Double Lifts MIT Over Springfield, 71-68

Feb. 7, 2007

Box Score

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Sophomore Jimmy Bartolotta scored a game-high 25 points and freshman Erich Bracht added 23 as MIT won for the fourth time in five games with a 71-68 victory against Springfield College. The Pride erased a seven-point deficit late in Wednesday's second half, but the Engineers sealed the key road win with a strong effort at the free-throw line.

Bartolotta paced Tech's efficiency at the charity stripe, finishing 15-of-15 at the line. The reigning NEWMAC Rookie of the Year added nine rebounds and eight assists as the Engineers (12-10, 5-5) split their season series against the Pride (10-12, 5-4), while climbing within one-half game of third place in the conference standings.

After MIT opened the contest on a 17-4 run, the Pride responded with a 22-12 run throughout the final 11:18 of the opening half to trail by just three points at the break (29-26). The score remained tight in the second half with neither team leading by more than seven points at any time. The game as a whole saw seven ties, five of which came in the second half, and 15 lead changes, 12 of which came in the final 20 minutes. The Engineers stayed in front the final nine minutes of the tilt, although Springfield closed the gap to 67-66 with 1:38 to play after a three by Ryan Blackmon.

Blackmon led Springfield with 19 points, including 3-of-4 from three-point range. Jamaal Gibbs chipped in 16, while rookie Pat Crean added 13 points and a team-best six rebounds.

Bracht, who finished 8-of-10 from the floor, just missed on a double-double after tying Bartolotta with a game-high nine boards. Senior Alex Krull scored in double figures for the 12th straight game, closing with 12 points. Freshman Patrick Sissman enjoyed one of his best starts donning the Cardinal and Gray, connecting on both of his three-point attempts en route to nine points and four assists.

MIT tied a season-high by shooting 57.1% as a team. The Engineers have shot above 50% from the field in five consecutive games, and are shooting just under 47% from beyond the arc in the same span.