Last week, MIT picked up two more wins against Babson and Coast Guard to increase its record to 16-0 (4-0 in conference). In the national rankings, MIT moved up to the third spot, as Augustana College fell from third to sixth; the Engineers also remain as only one of six teams in the top 25 with a perfect record.
MIT’s current record of 16-0 is an Institute record for most consecutive wins to start a season, surpassing the 15-0 team of ’61-’62. Andrew M. Acker ’15 said that “it’s a unique feeling, but honestly we have not been thinking about going 16-0. We have just been taking it one game at a time — the record sort of just crept up on us”.
Acker’s and his teammates’ “one game at a time” attitude has led the team to a successful season thus far. With only 8 games left in the regular season, the Engineers have a good shot at remaining undefeated the entire season and going on to win the national championship.
On Wednesday, the Engineers conquered against Coast Guard. Starting early in the game, MIT put Coast Guard to work, scoring 26 points before Coast Guard could even break the single point barrier. MIT’s sheer height and strength shut down Coast Guard; forward William Tashman ‘13 earned himself a double-double by dominating the offensive floor, with 21 points and 14 rebounds, seven of which were offensive. Noel Hollingsworth ’12 shut the opposition’s big men out, with 3 blocks; he also led the offensive effort, with 24 points. The game ended with a resounding 83-55 victory for MIT.
The Saturday game against Babson proved to be a better test for the Engineers. Point Guard Mitchell H. Kates ’13 led MIT to victory; with 20 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, Kates served as more than just the playmaker for the Engineers—he was the scoring and rebounding leader. The Engineers have cycled through many leaders through the season in individual games, demonstrating MIT’s strength as a team. In fact, all five starters average over 10 points per game.
Babson played well against MIT. Both teams scored in bursts during the first half. The game switched back and forth between a small MIT lead and a tight game. However, the final burst of the half, a 9-3 MIT run, allowed the Engineers to end the first half with a slight lead of 37-32.
The first half lead trickled into the second half and was maintained for the rest of the game. Babson did a good job of guarding MIT’s big men, Hollingsworth and Tashman, making the two work from the line. The two players combined for 32 points (16 each), half of which were made from the line. Hollingsworth, who struggled from the field (three of 13), managed to make up for it at the line where he was perfect on all ten shots.
The Engineers finished with a 72-63 win against Babson; they will next play at home against WPI on Saturday, January 21st at 3:00 p.m. in Rockwell Cage. WPI, ranked 24th in the nation, will be a big test for the Engineers.