Men’s basketball beats Wheaton, Springfield

Engineers take in two more wins, only one home game remains in the season

Last week was quite successful for MIT men’s basketball. Individually, the team’s leading scorers, Noel Hollingsworth ’12 and James D. Karraker ’12, both reached the 1,000-point career milestone. As a team, the Engineers pulled away with an easy victory against Wheaton on Wednesday and a tough victory against Springfield on Saturday to reach 20 victories total for the season. The team was also featured in Sports Illustrated, along with No. 1 Middlebury, in an article focusing on the success of the two teams athletically and academically.

Hollingsworth had a big game against Wheaton, not only scoring his career’s thousandth point but also leading the team with 19 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.

MIT dominated over Wheaton during the first half; up 34-7 with just over 15 minutes played, the Engineers cruised. From that point on, MIT did not push ahead further — the team just maintained its large lead and used the opportunity to clock in its bench. The Engineers shot over 70 percent within the perimeter but, uncharacteristically, struggled from beyond the arc, only shooting 19 percent. William Tashman ’13 managed a double-double, with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Mitchell H. Kates ’13 and William E. Bender ’12 also scored in the double digits. MIT ended the night smoothly, 85-56.

Springfield was a challenge for the Engineers, giving MIT a troublesome second half. MIT played very well during its first half, leading the game 39-29 at the end of it. The Engineers started their second half strong, up 48-34, the greatest lead of the game, at 15:44. Unfortunately, their lead diminished quickly over the next four minutes as Springfield tightened the game. They turned on the pressure on MIT, with a 13-0 run to bring the game to 48-47, MIT. The second part of the half was a struggle for the Engineers to stay in the lead, until 3:48 when Springfield took over the lead, 62-61.

The teams were deadlocked, tied 64-64 at 2:20. Karraker saved the game with a clutch three-point jump shot and two perfect free throws, giving MIT the edge, 69-67. With his last free throw, Karraker hit the 1,000 point milestone in his career, in one of the best ways he could have reached it.

MIT’s starters worked hard during the game, in an average of 36.8 out of 40 minutes each and scoring all but 3 of the team’s points. It was a great game for MIT as a whole, Tashman had seven rebounds and 17 points, Hollingsworth scored 16 points, Kates scored 15 points and had six assists, and Bender managed seven rebounds and 10 points.

The Engineers were week rebounding, 26 versus Springfield’s 30, and turned over the ball 16 times versus Springfield’s 11; yet MIT managed to win, shooting 13 percent better from the field.

MIT will play at home for its last game tomorrow, February 8 against Babson College in Rockwell Cage at 6:00 p.m.