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Engineer Basketball Shoots Poorly, Falls To Lord Jeffs 79-47

By Ryan Lanphere

The MIT men’s basketball team (4-5) fell 79-47 to the No. 2 ranked Amherst College (6-0) on Thursday night in Rockwell Cage. The Jeffs’ deep bench and precision perimeter shooting proved to be too much for the Engineers to overcome.

With 47 of the Jeffs’ 79 points coming off the bench, the Engineers were unable to match the Jeffs’ extremely productive second unit, and couldn’t stay within striking distance in the second half.

Assistant Coach Oliver W. Eslinger said, “I was really proud of our effort in the first half, when we were able to run our offense we played right with them.” The Engineers indeed looked strongest when they were able to keep the pace of the game slow, preventing the Jeffs from running and making use of their plethora of subs.

MIT started the game strong, as the Engineers matched the Jeffs point for point with the score tied 10-10 through the first ten minutes of play. Then, the Jeffs began to pull away, helped in part by junior guard Andrew Olson who was lights out in the first half, going three for three behind the arch, and finished the game with 12 points, four assists, and two steals.

The Engineers went to the locker room trailing 20-33 after the first half of play. The break didn’t help, as the Jeffs came out hot in the second half, shooting 6-of-10 from three-point range while holding off the Engineers.

Guard James M. Bartolotta ’09 carried the Engineers in the first half with 10 points and eight rebounds, and finished the game leading all MIT scorers with 16 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and a blocked shot.

The Jeffs had an incredibly balanced attack. They scored 79 points as a team, but their leading scorer, Ryan Baskauskas, only had 13 points. Guard Tim McLaughlin and forward Fletcher Walters also contributed 12 points to join Baskauskas and Olson as double-digit scorers for the Jeffs.

The Engineers, who have been inconsistent all year, couldn’t find their shooting groove and made just 35 percent of their shots Thursday night. Forward Erich W. Bracht ’10 continued his breakout rookie season shooting five of six from the field for 14 points, and also pulled down nine boards. Point guard Bradley H. Gampel ’09 also contributed in MIT’s effort, dishing out seven assists to go with two steals.

The Engineers’ next contest will be at home, when they host Emerson College (5-3) tonight in Rockwell Cage; the tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.