Springfield, Mass. -- February 4, 2012 -- A Jamie Karraker 3-point shot with 40 seconds left broke a tie giving the #5-ranked MIT men's basketball team the impetus to defeat Springfield College this afternoon at SC's Blake Arena in an important New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference game.
With the victory, MIT raises its record to 20-1 overall, 8-1 in the NEWMAC. Springfield falls to 14-7 overall, 6-3 in the conference.
Karraker is a senior guard from Morgantown, West Virginia for the Engineers.
MIT used a very balanced attack throughout the afternoon, led by junior forward Will Tashman (Atherton, Calif.) with 17 points and seven rebounds. Right behind him were senior center Noel Hollingsworth (Salt Lake City, Utah) with 16 points, junior guard Mitchell Kates (Colts Neck, N.J.) with 15 points and six assists, and senior guard Billy Bender (Woodlands, Texas) with 10 points and seven rebounds.
For the homestanding Pride, they also had four people score in double figures. They included sophomore forward Robbie Burke (Cheshire, Mass.) with 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds, sophomore guard Sean Martin (Rindge, N.H.) with 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists, senior guard Jordan Rote (Sheffield, Mass.) with 11 points, and junior guard Alex Berthiaume (Springfield, Mass.) with 10 points.
The game began with neither side gaining a huge advantage. With 11:38 remaining in the first half, after SC's Rote hit a 3-point shot, MIT had a 15-14 lead.
But the Engineers then scored the next 13 points to open matters. When Hollingsworth made a conventional three-point play with 8:05 left, MIT led 28-14.
A lay-up by Burke at the buzzer allowed SC to creep within 10 points, at 39-29, at the half.
Hollingsworth scored 13 of his 16 points in that first half. The most telling statistic at the half was MIT's field goal percentage. The Engineers were shooting .609 from the floor (14-of-23). MIT also had a 16-12 edge on the boards.
In the first eight minutes of the second half, the Pride made a game of it. When Rote made two free throws with 12:05 remaining, SC had turned it into a one-point game, trailing by just a 48-47 margin. Then for the next eight minutes or so, MIT's lead was extended to no more than five points at any time during that stretch.
Down by four points at 61-57, SC's Rote then hit a 3-pointer with 4:38 left, followed by a lay-up by Martin with 3:48 left, giving SC its first lead since early in the game, 62-61.
Kates hit a 3-pointer for MIT with 3:25 left, giving the Engineers a 64-62 advantage. Two free throws by Burke then tied it with 2:20 still on the clock.
SC had two possessions, but turned it over with 1:06 left. That led to Karraker's big 3-pointer with 40 seconds left.
There was still plenty of action remaining. Burke was fouled , making his first, but missing the second. Burke, however, got his own rebound with 22 seconds left. SC called a time-out with 19 seconds left.
The Pride turned it over, however, when attempting a drive to the basket. Karraker then made two free throws with seven seconds left, giving MIT a four-point lead, 69-65. Senior center Ryan Coburn (West Warwick, R.I.) finished the scoring with a rebound lay-up at the buzzer.
Springfield will return to action Monday, Feb. 6, at 7 pm against local rival Western New England University.