Last Tuesday, the MIT’s Men’s Basketball team snagged an easy (90-47) victory over UMass Boston. The Engineers’ James D. Karraker ’12 led the team to victory with nine 3-pointers, setting an Institute record. MIT still holds the best record in the nation (9-0) and has moved up in ranking from ninth to seventh.
In the first 13 minutes of play against UMass Boston, MIT demonstrated their ability to play championship level basketball, knocking down their shots, including five 3-pointers from Karraker, and dominating the Beacons’ young offense with a five-man defensive game and excellent transition defense. From that point on, MIT cruised, slowly increasing their lead as the game moved on. After establishing such a lead, MIT used the advantage as an opportunity to train its bench, with the team’s bench players on the floor for a combined 71 minutes. The bench contributed a total of 19 rebounds, 18 points, and nine assists.
The Beacons were unable to hold the powerful “Shaq-and-Kobe-like” combination of Noel Hollingsworth ’12 and Karraker, who combined for 47 points, Karraker taking and making solely 3-point shots (nine of 15 from beyond the arc) and Hollingsworth primarily hitting from close range or in the paint. The rest of the team supported the strategy, setting picks and moving around the opposition so that one of these two players could be open. William E. Bender ’12 had quite a strong overall performance, scoring 13 points while also delivering five assists, two steals, and two blocks. Mitchell H. Kates ’13 had a good game as a point guard, most notably for his five assists and four steals.
MIT has maintained a solid performance in every game this season thus far. William F. Dickson ’14 says that the success the team had thus far is a result of the team’s “family atmosphere and the attitude that everyone brings to practice every day.” It’s hard to argue that the Engineers aren’t a family, seeing how they shared the ball against UMass Boston Tuesday night, delivering 27 assists for 32 field goals made, an incredibly high assist-to-goal ratio.
The Engineers haven’t lost a game yet and are playing ball consistently well, averaging a 53.8 field goal percentage, 42.0 3-point percentage, 41.7 rebounds per game, and 19.4 assists per game. One can only wonder how far this MIT team will go. Andrew M. Acker ’15 says the team’s eyes are on the prize — “the team’s goal for the season is a national championship. We have already won league championships and received national tournament bids. Those are secondary goals to winning the whole thing.”
MIT will next be playing at home against Wheelock College on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.