Eric S. Zuk ’11 had a season-best 15 points and William Tashman ’13 added 16, but it was not enough as MIT fell to the University of Rochester, 60-52 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball on Saturday evening. The Engineers were outscored 40-27 in the second half, narrowly missing out on the Sweet Sixteen for the second time in three years. Tech sees its season come to an end at 20-9, the third consecutive 20-win campaign for Coach Larry Anderson’s squad.
The MIT defense limited Rochester’s (22-5) opportunities early on, forcing four quick turnovers while holding the YellowJackets to just three points over the first 9:35 of the game. Tashman sank a jump hook on the final possession of the period to send Tech into the locker room up 25-20, as MIT held the No. 1 three-point shooting team in the nation without a three-point field goal in the opening stanza. The lead would change hands four times over the next five minutes, with neither team up by more than three at any point during that stretch.
The Engineers had a couple of chances to get the lead under five down the stretch, but a pair of costly turnovers and a clutch three from John DiBartolomeo sealed their fate.
“Congratulations to Rochester on tonight’s win,” Coach Anderson remarked after the game. “I’m so proud of our guys for leaving everything on the court. Hats off to Eric Zuk, he really led us today. It just wasn’t enough to get to the Sweet Sixteen.”
Zuk added five rebounds to his scoring effort while connecting on three of five shots from three-point range. Mitchell H. Kates ’13 also finished in double-digits with 14 points.
With Zuk as the lone senior on Coach Anderson’s talented squad, the Cardinal and Gray is well positioned for a strong return in 2012. In addition to returning its top seven scorers, MIT will welcome back Noel Hollingsworth ’13 and James R. Burke ’13, key contributors from a year ago who missed most of this season as a result of injury.