MIT’s Men’s Basketball team is on the move. After winning two games last week, the Engineers established a 5-0 record, moving them up from the 10th place spot to ninth in the national Division III rankings. The team has averaged a resounding 25.5-point margin of victory in its first six games of the season after beating Emerson on Tuesday by 32 points, 89-57.
In their game against Emerson, the Engineers achieved something spectacular — they managed a whopping 70 percent 3-point percentage, making 14 of 20 from behind the arc. Leading the effort were William E. Bender ’12, Noel Hollingsworth ’12, and James D. Karraker ’12, scoring 6 of 7, 3 of 3, and 3 of 6, respectively. The team also hit a high 62 percent from the field, led by Bender, who scored 7 of 8, Hollingsworth, who drove 7 of 11, and William Tashman ’13, who had a perfect game from the field, banking 6 of 6.
MIT controlled the game well, making most of their points from behind the arc, easy layups, or from the line. The team’s rebounding was impressive (34 versus Emerson’s 13), but what won the Engineers the game was their sheer dominance — a result of a concerted, all-around team effort. Earlier in the season, MIT looked to one or two players every game to lead the effort; now, the team is starting to play the type of ball that wins championships. Combining for 25 assists, the Engineers played selflessly. In particular, Mitchell H. Kates ’13 and Tashman together set up their teammates 11 times. The unselfish basketball drove the Engineers’ command of the game, allowing the team to take advantage of the many opportunities that the Emerson Lions left open.
The defensive effort of the team was also great; the Engineers only let four offensive rebounds get by and snatched the ball away from Emerson 11 times, Bender and Kates leading the team with three steals each. Tashman and Hollingsworth ensured that the Lions did not get easy goals, totaling three blocks each, a huge contribution to MIT’s seven total blocks.
The team’s trust for each other is what makes MIT so formidable. Playing as a unit, rather than being led by a few stars, MIT has garnered flexibility in its game. As of the Emerson game, the Engineers have a 6-0 record and are ranked ninth in the nation; if they continue playing such a high level of basketball and developing as a team, there is no reason that they can not end the season ranked first.
MIT’s Men’s Basketball will play on Saturday at home in Rockwell Cage as part of a double header with the women’s team. The women will play first, against WPI at 1 p.m., and the men will follow them, at 3 p.m. against Lesley University (2-2).