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Men's Basketball Downed by Coast Guard

By Dan Wang
Staff Reporter

The men's basketball team dropped a 70-63 decision to the United States Coast Guard Academy, last Saturday, before a crowd of 117 (really, check the book) at Rockwell Cage The team's record for the season is now 3-6 overall, and 1-2 in the Constitution Athletic Conference.

The game had been fairly close for most of the game, despite play that coach Leo Osgood described as "sluggish." But MIT never had the lead, falling behind late in the first half, and was down 39-34 at halftime.

At the beginning of the second half, the Engineers deficit climbed to 11 points before MIT went on a scoring run, closing the gap to 51-50 at one point. The Engineers had numerous chances to score and take the lead, but were unable to put the ball through the hoop.

MIT and Coast Guard exchanged baskets, keeping the score fairly close. Late in the game, though, the Bears started penetrating the defense of the Engineers -- despite the use of a full-court press and various zone defenses by the Engineers. The results were some easy baskets, which allowed the Bears to increase its lead and gradually pull away. As the game closed, MIT's three-pointers wouldn't fall, and the Coast Guard players iced the victory by converting Engineer fouls to points.

For the second half, the Engineers had a better free throw percentage, with 56 percent to Coast Guard's 45 percent. But they missed important baskets down the stretch, which would have made the game closer. With less than five minutes left to play, and MIT down 57-62, guard Randy Hyun '95 was fouled on a three-point field goal attempt, giving him three chances from the charity stripe. Unfortunately, he missed the first two before making the last one. The Bears' lead which could have been cut to two, was now four, which turned out to be insurmountable.

The statistics seemed to tell a big part of the tale. The team made 17 field goals on 50 attempts, and shot 68 percent from the line. The Bears, meanwhile, made 48 percent of their shots from the field. The Bears made only six more shot attempts, but connected on ten more of them than the Engineers.

Center Keith Whalen '96, who played almost the entire game near the basket, made only 4 of 13 shots from the field, while leading the team with 17 points. This figure, as well as the overall team shooting, indicated numerous scoring opportunities that MIT was not able to take advantage of. Whalen and forward Joe Levesque '95 tied for the most rebounds, both grabbing seven boards. Forward Tim Porter '96 also scored in double figures, with 14 points, which included four three-pointers.

The Engineers' next home game is Saturday afternoon, against Pratt Institute. The Engineers will play its next conference game on Jan. 19 versus Western New England College, also at Rockwell Cage.