MIT (13-11) shrugged off a sluggish first half by scoring 51 in the second as the Engineers rallied to defeat Lasell College (13-10) 76-68 in Rockwell Cage on Tuesday night. James M. Bartolotta '09 had a great night even by his standards, scoring a game-high 27 points and recording a career-high 21 boards.
Erich W. Bracht '10 also played a big role, finishing with 18 points and 14 rebounds while shooting 6-of-6 at the free-throw line. The entire MIT team shot well at the charity stripe, knocking down 26 of its27 free-throwattempts.
Alexander G. Krull '07 led the team with eight free throws in as many chances. Krull shouldered Tech's offensive attack in the first half and finished with 25 points.
In addition to his 20-20 performance in points and rebounds, Bartolotta added six assists, three blocks, and two steals to the Engineers' totals.
Both teams struggled from the field during the first half. MIT, which finished 0-of-14 from three-point range last Saturday, missed its first five shots from deep against the Lasers. Krull finally snapped the drought with a triple at 12:02 that gave the Engineers an 11-8 lead.
Led by the inside presence of Jose Guitian, Lasell responded with a 12-2 run over the next four minutes to grab a seven-point lead.
Lasell stretched the lead to 27-19 with 1:54 remaining in the half, but the Cardinal and Gray scored six of the final eight points in the period to trail 29-25 at the break and set the tone for their second half comeback.
The late surge was capped in the final second when Bartolotta delivered a great pass to Bracht for an easy lay-up.
MIT asserted control in the second half, although it would take six minutes before the Engineers grabbed their first lead of the half. After a lay-up by Bartolotta pushed MIT in front, 44-43, with 13:27 still on the board, the Engineers never looked back.
Jude Biton canned mid-range jumpers on consecutive possessions to keep the Lasers within sight, but MIT slowly expanded the lead behind 56 percent shooting and an 18-of-18 performance from the free-throw line.
When Krull connected on his third three of the night with less than five minutes to go, the Engineers pushed their lead to 60-50. The Lasers got as close as five with 2:15 left in regulation, but were unable to edge any closer thanks to MIT's perfect touch at the foul line.
Guitian roared out of the gate and finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds to pace Lasell. Junior Sanival added 14 points, Brad Carvoulias chipped in 12, and Dwayne Powell closed with 13 points and five assists. Jaime Crawford, who entered Tuesday's game averaging 19 points per game, was held to three points on 1-of-6 shooting.
The Engineers return to action tomorrow when they host Clark University at 2:00 p.m. in Rockwell Cage. MIT beat Clark on the road earlier this season 68-67.