Dec. 1, 2005
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Gordon College (4-0) kept its undefeated ledger in tact on Thursday, while sending MIT (5-1) to its first loss of the 2005-06 campaign, 64-59, in an overtime thriller in Rockwell Cage. MIT's Mike D'Auria connected on a three-point field goal in the final seconds of regulation to force the extra period, but Jerry Logan sparked the Fighting Scots' winning effort with a three-point play and clutch free-throw shooting during the bonus time.
The Engineers opened strong with nine consecutive points while Billy Johson's three ball gave MIT a 17-6 lead at 11:35 of the first half. In a game trademarked by outstanding defensive pressure, Gordon scrapped its way back into the tilt with aggressive play on the offensive end. Down 25-20 at halftime, the Fighting Scots had only three field goals, but stayed close by going 14-of-18 at the charity stripe.
Phil Murray snapped a four minute dry spell for both teams to start the second half to extend MIT's to seven, although it was the biggest advantage the Engineers would have the rest of the night. With 14:45 left in the second stanza, captain John Beebe capped a 7-0 run for the Scots to force the game's first tie. Although the Cardinal and Gray responded with four straight points, Gordon answered right back behind sophomore Jon Marstaller's two driving buckets. Marstaller's second score at 9:30 was set up on a steal by Beebe and turned the momentum over to Gordon for most of the second half's remaining ticks.
For the next several minutes, D'Auria and Marstaller exchanged baskets as both teams battled for a game-changing run. After hitting its first shot outside of the paint 25 minutes into the game, Gordon stayed confident the rest of the way from the outside. No one shot was more critical at that point than Mark Beebe's three with 3:03 left in regulation; a shot that equaled Gordon's largest lead of the game at 48-43.
The advantage remained five for the Fighting Scots until the 2:10-mark, when rookie Jimmy Bartolotta delivered on an assist by D'Auria with a three in the corner. The final minute featured a flurry of action as Bartolotta canned another three from the corner to answer a lay-up by Logan. Bartolotta's score left the Engineers trailing by one (50-49) with 26 seconds until the final horn. A quick foul led to two free throws by Logan and set the stage for Tech's final possession of regulation. Curling off a screen, center Gary Atkins passed out of the paint to D'Auria, who electrified the crowd with the game-tying three with nine seconds remaining in the game. Michael Herr had an open look from the wing at the buzzer, but missed the three-point try.
Gordon scored six of the first eight points in overtime, but Danny Kanamori's three with nine seconds left brought the Engineers within two at 61-59. Despite the incredible effort, Gordon sealed the game with great free-throw shooting, hitting three straight to ice the game and finishing 25-of-34 from the line.
Marstaller had 22 to lead the winning effort, while Logan added 20 including 10-of-11 from the free-throw line. The Engineers were paced by Mike D'Auria, who scored a game-high 24 points, while also adding game-highs in rebounds (9) and assists (7). Bartolotta also came up big for Tech's hardwood unit, scoring a career-best 16. After scoring the first four points of the game, Kanamori finished with 10 and tied D'Auria with three steals.
MIT's bench, which has been instrumental in the Engineers' impressive start, was outscored 14-4.