Nov. 20, 2005
BOSTON, Mass. - Senior captain Mike D'Auria scored 17 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to lead MIT past Geneseo in the championship game of the Emmanuel Tip-Off Tournament, 68-60. After the game, D'Auria picked up Tournament MVP honors while freshman Jimmy Bartolotta was selected to the All-Tournament Team.
MIT (2-0) was out of the blocks almost as fast as Saturday, getting quick three's from D'Auria and Bartolotta to take an early 10-3 lead. After knocking off regional power Western Connecticut in the opening round, the Knights proved to be much more resilient than Saturday's foe and climbed back into the game with an imposing front court attack. Leading 28-25 with less than 15 seconds remaining in the first half, Geneseo (1-1) wanted to work for the last possession, but a fantastic steal by Danny Kanamori led to a fast-break lay-up for Bartolotta; energizing the Engineers as they headed for the locker room down by one.
The lead changed 14 times in Sunday's championship, and the shift was extremely apparent in the second half when neither team could sustain enough momentum to break the game open. Down 44-38 with less than 10 minutes on the clock, rookie Adam Juneau ignited an MIT surge after hauling in an offensive board and sticking it back between the teeth of the Geneseo defense. D'Auria followed with the game's next six points off a great take past the left side of the defense that fell and earned him a spot at the line, as well as a three-point field goal that gave the lead back to the Cardinal and Gray for the first time since midway through the first half.
Up by one with five minutes left in regulation, D'Auria stuck another three that gave MIT a 56-52 lead and an advantage they wouldn't relinquish. Another jumper by D'Auria extended the lead even further, while Alex Krull delivered the dagger with a three of his own that put the Engineers up 61-54 with 2:40 to go. Like Saturday's win over Emmanuel, MIT iced the game as four different players combined to go 8-of-8 at the line down the stretch.
D'Auria added four steals while finishing the game 9-of-15 from the field. Bartolotta was the only other player to score in double figures for MIT, adding 11 points to the attack. Kanamori also played well in limited time, scoring nine points and grabbing three steals. MIT's victory was predicated on a balanced attack as 10 players played at least 12 minutes and nine players added to the scoring totals.
Sunday's battle against Geneseo was the first match-up against the Knights in the history of the MIT program.