November 19, 2008

Gordon Tops MIT in Overtime, 77-69

Nov. 19, 2008

Box Score

WENHAM, Mass. – Aaron Trigg scored 30 points to lead a late second-half comeback and Gordon knocked off MIT, 77-69, in overtime at the Bennett Center on Wednesday night. Gordon, which finished 13-1 in Wenham last season, continued its terrific play at home as the Fighting Scots converted all eight of their free-throw attempts in the extra session to escape with the tough, non-conference win.

The Engineers (1-1) were led by D3Hoops and Sporting News Preseason All-American Jimmy Bartolotta, who finished with 20 points despite fouling out for only the second time in his career. Eric Zuk added a career-high 19 points and a team-best seven rebounds, but MIT couldn’t overcome Gordon’s (2-0) late rally as Bartolotta and Hamidou Soumare were kept off the floor for extended minutes because of foul trouble.

The Fighting Scots secured a career night from Trigg while three other players reached double figures. Brady Bajema added 18 points and a team-high six assists while Benjamin Gaskill finished 6-of-7 from the floor for 13 points. Gordon earned assists on 20 of its 25 field goals and shot 53% from three-point range and 85% from the free-throw line. The Scots also held a 32-27 advantage on the boards.

MIT jumped out to a 6-0 lead after back-to-back steals by Bartolotta and Bradley Gampel, and maintained that edge for most of the first half. With 3:47 left in the opening frame, rookie Billy Bender connected on lay-up to match MIT’s largest lead of the half at 27-20. Taking advantage of a young Tech lineup, Gordon reduced the deficit during the waning moments of the period capped by two Trigg free-throws that left MIT ahead, 33-31, at the break.

Although the Fighting Scots never trailed by more than six in the second half, they didn’t take their first lead until Greg Walker’s lay-up moved Gordon in front, 51-50, with 6:56 left in regulation. The teams traded baskets over the next four minutes while Soumare delivered his biggest play of the night with a traditional three-point play and 1:47 left on the clock.

Trailing 62-58, Gordon caught a fortuitous break as a deflected pass over the top of the defense landed in the hands of an open Walker directly under the Scots’ basket. On MIT’s ensuing possession, Bartolotta was whistled for an illegal screen. The call cost the Engineers their best player for the rest of the tilt while Gaskill hit a lay-up on the other end of the floor to knot the game at 62-62.

Gordon outscored MIT, 15-7, in the overtime period, with most of its damage coming at the charity stripe. Trigg, who came up huge all evening, hit a three on the first possession of the stanza to ignite the home crowd and give the Scots a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Gampel struggled from the field, but dished out a career-high 11 assists while committing just one turnover. He also added a game-high five steals as MIT finished with 12 thefts as a team. Rookie Jamie Karraker chipped in 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, but the Cardinal and Gray failed to find its offense during overtime, closing 3-of-10 from the floor.

Trigg scored 16 of Gordon’s first 18 points. The hot hand prevented the Engineers from building a commanding lead early in the game as the rest of the lineup was kept at bay.