December 12, 2006

Final Surge Pushes MIT Past Emerson, 79-72

Dec. 12, 2006

Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sophomore Jimmy Bartolotta scored over 30 points for the third time this season, junior Will Mroz broke out by adding a season-best 21, and MIT held off a late rally before pulling away for a 79-72 victory over Emerson College, Tuesday night, at Rockwell Cage. With the victory, MIT (5-5) secured its first home win of the season, while snapping a three-game losing skid heading into the Holiday break.

Emerson (5-4) looked poised for the road win early in the game as freshman Bryan Rouse followed up Saturday's record-setting 56-point effort with the first eight points. After Will Dawkins drained two free throws, the Lions enjoyed a 10-0 lead three minutes into the half. Rouse and Dawkins continued to carry Emerson for most of the first frame, but after equaling their largest lead of the night at 14-4, the Lions surrendered a 13-2 run over the next five minutes behind the hot hand of Mroz and post play of rookie Erich Bracht.

Securing their first lead of the night, the Engineers and Lions traded baskets for the rest of the half before back-to-back three's by Mroz and Bartolotta gave MIT a 31-25 lead with just over four minutes on the clock. The period closed with the Engineers in front, 38-32.

MIT stayed in front the entire second half, although Emerson remained in striking distance. A lay-up by Mroz with 11 minutes left gave MIT its largest lead of the game at 48-39, although back-to-back triples by Morales Hendricks and Ben Chase closed the gap to 58-55 with eight minutes to go.

Continuing the pressure against Tech's hardwood unit, the Lions got as close as one after Jeremy Shannon made it 69-68 with a jump shot and 1:50 left in regulation. Despite the push, the Engineers capped the tilt with 10 consecutive free throws down the stretch en route to their seventh straight win in the history of the series.

Bartolotta scored a game-high 32 points, including 22 in the second half. He finished 13-of-14 at the charity stripe, while adding nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Mroz scored in double-figures for the third time in four games, and made the most of his first start of the season by scoring 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Bracht also scored in double figures for the Cardinal and Gray. Scoring 11 points and adding a game-best 13 rebounds, Bracht recorded his fifth double-double of the year.

Despite a scintillating start, Rouse finished with 21 points and six boards on 9-of-13 shooting. Dawkins led a strong supporting cast with 13 points, while Hendricks (12), Chase (11) and Shannon (10) all scored in double digits.