Dec. 7, 2006
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Amherst College men's basketball, ranked No. 2 in the nation, proved to be too much for MIT's hardwood unit on Thursday night as the Lord Jeffs overcame a sluggish first half en route to a 79-47 win at Rockwell Cage. Four players scored in double figures for Amherst, while 13 different players added to its offensive totals in the team's first meeting since 1992.
MIT (4-5) looked to slow an Amherst (6-0) attack that entered the non-league tilt averaging nearly 94 points per game. The results were positive early in the opening half as the Engineers and Lord Jeffs were locked at 10-10 midway through the frame. Junior Andrew Olsen pushed Amherst in front 13-10 with a three at 10:27, sparking a 14-2 run over the next five minutes.
A pair of buckets by MIT sophomore Jimmy Bartolotta temporarily sliced into the lead, although Ryan Baskauskas came off the bench and scored five straight points to spark another run. After Olsen connected on another jumper to raise the advantage to a game-high 15 points, Bartolotta finished on a fast-break to close the first half scoring at 33-20.
In the second half, Amherst's depth and great offensive balance slowly stretched the margin, and the Jeffs enjoyed a 52-31 lead with just over eight minutes left in regulation. Amherst continued to extend its lead throughout the final eight minutes, never allowing the advantage to fall below 25. A lay-up by Mike Mosley with 23 seconds left on the clock gave Amherst its largest lead of the night at 79-45.
Baskauskas led Amherst in scoring with 13 points, while Fletcher Walters, Tim McLaughlin and Olsen each added 12. Amherst's balance was absolutely incredible, and the Jeffs finished the night with a 45-29 advantage on the boards. After shooting just 38.5% from beyond the arc in the first period, the Jeffs were 6-of-10 in the second half.
The Engineers were led by Bartolotta's game-high 16 points. Freshman Erich Bracht chipped in 14, while Bartolotta and Bracht tied Amherst's Dan O'Shea with a game-best nine rebounds. Unlike the Jeffs, which capitalized on a potent perimeter attack, MIT finished the game 3-of-18 from long range.