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Men...s Basketball Makes Strong Showing, Defeats Babson 72-50

By Albert Ni

With a balanced effort, the MIT Men’s Basketball team took a 72-50 victory over Babson College (5-9) on Saturday. The Engineers improved to 10-4, already matching their win total from the entire previous season.

Sometimes you can tell how a game went without even looking at the final score. It was other numbers that told the story of a game in which the Institute outhustled, out-defended, and simply outplayed its opponents.

Tech dominated the glass, out-rebounding its opponents 32-20. The team won the assists column 17-11, the blocks column 5-2, and the steals column 10-7, and committed 6 fewer turnovers in the game. Tech also capitalized on Babson foul trouble in both halves, and reached the line an astounding 26 more times than their opponents.

Regardless of the statistics, it certainly didn’t hurt to have Michael W. D’Auria ’06 leading the way as usual with 19 points. D’Auria had his worst shooting night of the season, connecting on only 4 of 13 shots from the floor. But the mark of a good offensive player is what he does when shots aren’t falling, and D’Auria was able to connect on 10 of 14 free throws, as well as dish out a team-high 6 assists and grab 3 offensive rebounds, demonstrating once again why he is the primary catalyst of Tech’s offense.

With its offense unable to get into a rhythm in the opening minutes of the game, Tech relied on a solid defensive effort to keep the score close. That same defensive intensity would carry the team for the entire game; it seemed like every time Babson tried to get a run going, an Engineer defender would come up with a steal or block.

Soon enough, the offense got rolling, and MIT’s superior quickness led to multiple layups and fouls. Almost everyone was able to get into the act, with Philip E. Murray ’06 contributing 14 points, and Daniel F. Kanamori ’06 and rookie James M. Bartolotta ’09 adding 9 points apiece. Hamidou Soumare ’07 led the way with 11 rebounds, 7 of which were offensive.

All in all, the Tech players had plenty to be proud of in bringing their conference record to 3-1, tying for first in the NEWMAC. With their only conference defeat thus far being a 2-point loss to Worcester Polytechnic Institute, ranked 15th nationwide in Division III hoops, the Engineers look to be in good shape to contend for this year’s conference title.