On Tuesday, Nov. 17, MIT’s men’s basketball team had its first home game of the season, hosting Bridgewater State University. The Engineers appeared to be the better team that night, pulling away early in the second half and ending with a 64-47 win. Great defensive rotations and superior ball movement helped the Engineers outscore Bridgewater. Justin Pedley ’16 led the scoring for MIT with 29 points as Tim Batula ’17 chipped in with 10 rebounds and 13 points.
At the start of the game, MIT appeared to be the much more dominant team. Its rotations on defense were superb, and it took a while before Bridgewater could even get an open look at the basket. MIT continuously pressured the Bears, forcing numerous turnovers. On the other end of the court, the Engineers used great ball movement to pick apart the opposing defense. It seemed like every possession at one point was an over-the-top pass down low, exposing a weak interior defense.
Bridgewater State responded though and made adjustments to the way they were playing. The Bears turned up the pressure defensively, implementing a full court press that made it more difficult for MIT to set up possessions, often leaving the offense stagnant. As it became clear that Bridgewater wasn’t going to score on MIT when the defense had time to set up, it looked to push the ball down the floor, seeking open looks at the rim that just didn’t exist earlier. This sparked a run and by the time the half ended the gap was closed and the score was 24-22, MIT.
The second half began very similarly to how the game started. MIT took advantage of the things that paved way for the early lead. Justin Pedley hit numerous outside shots and forced Bridgewater to guard everywhere on the floor. MIT was prepared to counter the tactics that disrupted them in the first half. The Engineers broke the press much more effectively, and the offense did not stagnate like it did earlier. Ryan Frankel ’16, MIT’s starting guard, distributed the ball excellently. Whether it was off a pick and roll, or after cutting through the defense, he made great passes to give his teammates open looks at the rim and outside the arc. In the end, Bridgewater just wasn’t able to counter the effort that MIT brought to the game. The Engineers opened the season with a very impressive win.
Key stat of the game
The superior ball movement by MIT was demonstrated by a 21-6 advantage in the assist column. Ryan Frankel had a game high of 10, 4 more than Bridgewater State’s entire team.