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Men's Hoops Improves to 2-3

By Farhan Zaidi
Staff Reporter

After an inauspicious 03 start to the season, the men's basketball team came back last week to win games over Gordon College and the Wentorth Institute of Technology, Thursday and Saturday respectively, at Rockwell Cage.

In Thursday's game, Nikki Caruthers '95, Keith Whalen '96, and Joe Levesque '95 combined for 49 points as the Engineers coasted to a 6852 victory over the Gordon College Fighting Scots.

The Engineers got out to an early 2414 lead, behind the pesky defense and offensive leadership of Caruthers. The Scots, however, behind a stellar 16-point first-half performance by Jim Petty, came back to close the gap to 4 points, with the score 3228, and retained the ball with under 30 seconds left for the last possession of the half.

But in a remarkable turn of events with under five seconds left, Caruthers stole the ball, dribbled past half-court, and heaved a 40-foot shot at the buzzer that banked into the hoop, electrifying the crowd and sending the home team into the halftime break with a 7-point lead.

The buzzer shot was clearly a turning point, as the disheartened Scots were never able to recover and did not come within three points of the lead the rest of the way. The trapping defense of the Engineers stifled the Gordon College offense, especially Petty, who was held to just two second-half points.

On the other end, the MIT offense was powered by the inside game of Whalen and the all-around play of Levesque, who scored 13 of his 18 points after the break.

With under a minute left and the Engineers up 6252, the Scots went to a full court press only to have it broken by Levesque, who went the distance of the court to score a lay-up and effectively seal the victory for MIT. Caruthers finished a remarkable all-around performance with 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, and 3 steals, in addition to his 16 points.

MIT overwhelms WIT

In Saturday's game, the Engineers used a spectacular performance by Melvin Pullen '97 to overwhelm the WIT Leopards, 9250. The Engineers dominated from the very beginning, starting the game out with a 102 spurt which culminated with Pullen's jumper from the corner.

After the Leopards closed the gap to 1411 following a 3-pointer by Kevin Giroux, the Engineers finished the half strong, outscoring the Leopards 3515 up to the break. The Engineers utilized their tremendous height advantage in building the 4926 halftime lead, dominating the boards, at both ends to gain second chances on offense and hold the Leopards to one shot on defense.

The home team would put the game out of reach by exploding out of the gates in the second half, going on a 90 run that concluded with a rim-rattling break away slam dunk by Pullen that brought the crowd to its feet.

The Engineers continued to build up their lead, which reached its peak at 46 with the score 7731 with 11 minutes left.

Coach Leo Osgood then put in the second unit, who managed to maintain the lead above 40 points for the rest of the way. Pullen finished with 27 points and 9 rebounds in just 22 minutes of play, going 8-for-10 from the field. Whalen added 15 points and 11 rebounds.