The MIT’s Men’s Basketball team made program history last weekend, advancing to the nation’s Sweet 16 for the first time in Institute history, beating Skidmore and Farmingdale State. As a team, MIT picked up five double-doubles this weekend en route to the team’s hope of a national championship.
The Engineers had a rough start against Skidmore, missing six of their first seven shots to go down 9-2 in the first four-and-a-half minutes. A 20-second timeout helped reorganize MIT’s struggling offense and further motivate the team’s defense—in under two minutes, MIT established a 9-0 run, taking the lead 11-9. The game was tight for a couple of minutes until MIT’s defense contained Skidmore’s offense, allowing the Engineers to end what initially looked like a rough half up 10 points, 34-24.
The rest of the first round game was a coast until the final few minutes, during which Skidmore pushed for a chance to continue its season. At the eight-minute mark, MIT held a 10-point, 54-44 lead — in a little over five minutes, Skidmore contained MIT to one point, managing to diminish the Engineers’ lead to 55-53. Mitchell H. Kates ’13 managed to save the game for MIT, scoring eight of MIT’s last 10 points, bringing MIT on top 62-55. William Tashman ’13 and Kates ended the game with double-doubles; Tashman scored 12 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Kates managed 24 points and 11 rebounds, along with an impressive eight assists and three steals. Noel Hollingsworth ’12 also had a good game, scoring 17 points.
MIT’s game against Farmingdale played out differently — MIT showed Farmingdale, a team that managed an upset win against a higher-ranked team in the first round, what championship level basketball is about.
Hollingsworth played an impressive game for the Engineers, starting out the first half with a 3-point shot to put MIT ahead, 3-0. In a little over three minutes, MIT downed four 3-point shots, two from Hollingsworth and two from James D. Karraker ’12, giving them a 16-3 lead early in the game. MIT’s center, Hollingsworth, managed to play outside of his normal role for the remainder of the half, ending the half with four of six 3-point shooting. The Engineers finished the first half ahead by 19, 53-34.
MIT continued to cruise throughout the second half, pumping individual stats along the way. The team ended the game with three double-doubles: Tashman scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, along with five assists; Kates had an impressive assists-points double-double, with 11 assists and 11 points; and Hollingsworth, the star of the game, led the team forward into its first Sweet 16 appearance, with a career-high 37 points coupled with 12 rebounds. The Engineers finished the game with an 83-63 win.
MIT will next be playing against Staten Island on Friday at Franklin and Marshall for a spot in the Elite Eight. If MIT wins, they will play the winner of the Amherst-Franklin and Marshall game for a spot in the Final Four and an opportunity to play at the championship site, Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va.