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In the Engineers’ second trip to the Division III NCAA Tournament, they were upset by DeSales University 72-64 Saturday at William Paterson University. The loss is the Cardinal and Grey’s second straight, after a defeat to Clarke University last Saturday in Rockwell Cage in the the NEWMAC tournament.

The game began with a back and forth battle, both sides streaking to leads that would be chipped away by the other. The Engineers battled back from a 27-20 DeSales lead toward the end of the first half to bring the difference between three at the break.

DeSales continued to streak ahead in the 2nd half, at one point taking a double-digit lead; MIT chipped away, however, and made a game of it, tying it at 54 behind the play of Mitchell H. Kates ’13. The two teams battled, ending in a tie at the end of regulation at 62.

The game ended thrillingly in overtime, when the Bulldogs of DeSales finally overtook the Engineers. DeSales was able to score 10 in the extra time, while MIT could only muster 2 points for a final of 72-64.

Even with the loss, Tech finished at 22-5, the best season in the program’s 100-plus year history. Taking the old Brooklyn Dodgers adage, “Wait ’til next year,” MIT is well positioned for the next couple of years. Kates, a freshman, headed the team as the point guard every game this season alongside freshman big-man Will Tashman ’13, who finished the game with a career high 21 points complimented by 9 rebounds. Only one starter will be graduating, as well as one other senior on the team.

Other underclassmen with large roles on the team are William “Billy” E. Bender ’12 and Noel Hollingsworth ’12, who were named Academic All-Conference players, as well as James D. Karraker ’12 and Patrick S. Sissman ’10.

Bender, Hollingsworth, Kates, and Tashman together average over 50 points a game, nearly 75 percent of the team’s scoring, and will all be back for at least two years. There is no doubt the future is bright for this team.