Cambridge, Mass. - February 4, 2009 - Despite 18 points from John Strawson, the Springfield College men's basketball team dropped a 68-57 decision at MIT on Wednesday evening in a NEWMAC contest. In a tight affair, MIT used a 20-5 run to close out the final seven minutes of the game en route to the win.
MIT improves to 16-5, 7-1 in NEWMAC play, while the Pride drop to 9-11, 1-6.
Springfield was paced by Strawson, who also grabbed eight boards in just 25 minutes of action. Pat Crean added 11 points, while Ryan Coburn was dominant on the defensive end with six blocked shots.
With the score tied at 53 after a Strawson free throw with just over four minutes to play, MIT used three three-pointers to fuel a 9-2 run to take control of the game down the stretch.
Jimmy Bartolotta canned a pull-up jumper three feet beyond the top the arc to break a 53-53 tie with 3:14 left in regulation. On MIT’s next trip down the floor, Bartolotta drove to the middle and kicked out to Jamie Karraker on the wing for another three. After a pair of Springfield free throws, Bartolotta again drove down the middle before delivering another pass in the corner that Billy Johnson converted for three more points. It was free throws the rest of the way for both sides as the Engineers’ held on for the win.
Springfield played terrific in the opening half of play as it held a six-point advantage at the intermission, shooting 48% in the opening frame. The Pride would go on to lead by as many as nine in the second half after a trifecta from Strawson pushed SC's lead to 35-26.
However, in the second half, the play of reigning NEWMAC Player of the Year, Bartolotta proved to be the difference as he poured in 18 points to pace the Engineers. SC didn't do itself any favors as it was held without a field goal for the final 8:09, allowing MIT to close out the final seven-plus minutes on a 20-5 run.
Bartolotta finished with 20 points, while teammate Karraker also pumped in 20, connecting on five from downtown in the contest.
The Pride return to action on Saturday when it hosts Clark at 3:00 pm.