MIT snapped a two-game losing streak on Feb. 8 as the Engineers took a defensive-minded game at the U.S Coast Guard Academy, 45-37, in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men’s basketball contest. In a game that saw the two teams combine to shoot 28 percent, MIT saw three of its players score 10 points each, including Matthew M. Redfield ‘15 who also added five blocked shots for the Engineers.
In a first half that saw the two teams combine for just 29 points, MIT (15-6, 6-4 NEWMAC) did not make a field goal until the 15:38 mark when Andrew M. Acker ‘15 laid one in. Coast Guard (5-16, 2-8 NEWMAC) had only hit two threes in the opening minutes, however, and Acker’s basket had the Engineers within two at 6-4.
After its opening treys, Coast Guard did not score for nearly six minutes and MIT put together a 10-0 run that was finished by pair of Redfield free throws that had the Engineers up 12-6 at the 10:44 mark. Kevin Alvarez sank a three-pointer for Coast Guard to break the Bears scoring drought and went on to score six straight points for his team. His free throw with 8:20 left pulled Coast Guard to within one at 13-12, but Redfield answered with a layup to make it a three-point game. A basket by Ricky Rodriguez brought it back to a one-point affair with six minutes left, but the scoring in the half ended there as the two teams went a combined 0-16 from the floor the rest of the way.
It was more than two minutes into the second half before any more points were put on the board, with a trey by Jordan Lachowsky putting Coast Guard on top 17-15. Another trey from Rodriquez gave the Bears their largest lead of the game at 20-15, but baskets by Timothy J. Butala ‘17 and Ryan L. Frankel ‘16 had MIT back within a point with 14:52 left.
With 10:21 to go a Butala trey put MIT back on top, 25-23. That started what turned out to be the biggest run of the game for either team as the Engineers used the shot to kick-start a 12-3 run over a nine-minute span that decided the game. A free throw from Redfield, who scored four of the points in the run, with 3:14 left ended the streak and gave MIT a 34-26 advantage.
With 1:20 left Coast Guard got it down to a five-point deficit on a jumper by David Anderson, but MIT went 8-for-10 from the free throw line down the stretch to ice the victory and sweep the regular season series from the Bears. Justin M. Pedley ‘16 hit a pair of treys and finished with 10 points for MIT, with Frankel also finishing with 10. Redfield completed a double-double with 13 rebounds for the Engineers, who out rebounded Coast Guard 41-31. Alvarez paced the Bears with 10 points, with Devonte Weems pulling down a team-high eight boards for Coast Guard.
MIT will host first-place WPI on Wednesday night in its next game; hosting WPI at 6:00 p.m. Coast Guard will host Emerson on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in its next contest.