The 5–0 men’s basketball team picked up a 73–63 win over the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Tuesday, Nov. 26 in Cousens Gym. Coming off of three home victories and senior guard and co-captain Eric Savage’s 1,000th career point, the Jumbos are in high spirits and working well together.
“Being 5–0 feels great,” Savage said. “It’s nice to come out to a hot start, and we are working every day to ensure that we continue the winning trend.”
The Jumbos took to the board first with a 3-point shot from junior guard Brennan Morris to set the tone. The teams went back and forth for a few minutes before Savage put the Jumbos ahead by five, 11–6, with a jump shot and quick layup. The Engineers responded with a set of 3s from Alex Cho and Ian Hinkley, giving them a 12–11 lead.
The remainder of the half proved to be a back-and-forth, with each team keeping pace with the other. The game was all tied up at 24 with just over three minutes remaining in the half when Dan Pilsbury drew a 3-point play for the Engineers. After a foul on his successful layup, Pilsbury made the free throw and put the Engineers in the lead. Sophomore guard Carson Cohen responded with a layup. Savage made two free throw shots, putting the Jumbos ahead by one at 28–27.
With less than two minutes to go in the half, Cho put the Engineers back up with a jumper, but Savage tied things up again with a free throw. In the final minute of the half, both teams made two free throws and a layup, going into the second half tied at 33–33.
“In the first half we got a little stagnant offensively, and we weren’t moving the ball the way we usually do,” Savage said. “Once we got back to being unselfish offensively in the second half, our offense started to gel.”
Sophomore guard Tyler Aronson made a quick jumper to start off the second half, to which the Engineers responded with a layup from Pilsbury to keep the score tied up. Aronson came right back, draining a 3 and giving the Jumbos a lead that they would maintain for the remainder of the game.
The score nearly evened out a couple minutes into the half as Hinkley put up a jumper for the Engineers, bringing the score within one point of the Jumbos. Following the play, Aronson and Cohen put up a set of layups to increase the lead to 5. Junior center Luke Rogers then put up one of his own off of a rebound to keep the Jumbos steadily ahead at 44–37.
The Engineers came within one point of the Jumbos yet again off of a 3 and a free throw from Hinkley and a layup from Christien Williams. The score stayed close as the two teams continued to trade baskets in the middle minutes of the half. The Jumbos then made seven consecutive free throws, and Rogers added another layup to take a 10-point lead of 55–45. With just over eight minutes to go, the Jumbos kept up their comfortable lead for the remainder of the game, leading them to a 73–63 victory over the Engineers.
“I think against a well-coached team like MIT, we had to really execute our offense and match their physicality defensively,” junior guard and co-captain Will Brady said. “They wanted to slow the game down, so we had to get out and run and play in transition.”
Aronson led the team with 19 points, two rebounds and two assists. Savage was close behind him with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Rogers had an impressive 12 rebounds and five blocks, and Cohen also scored 12 points with four rebounds and two steals.
The Jumbos are on the road for their next game, taking on Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on Tuesday. The game is slated to begin at 7 p.m.
“WPI is a very good team,” Savage said. “They are currently ranked No. 25 in the country and have a number of solid players. It’s going to be a tough, hard-fought game, and we are looking forward to competing and hopefully coming away with a win.”