Men’s basketball starts off new season with a big win

MIT Engineers defeat Gordon College 64-51

MIT placed three starters in double figures, led by 18 points from Justin M. Pedley ’16 and Ryan L. Frankel ’16, as it opened the 2014-15 men’s basketball season with a 64-51 victory on the road at Gordon College. The No. 16 Engineers held the Fighting Scots to 36 percent shooting while shooting 41 percent themselves.

A layup from Dennis R. Levene ’15 followed by a three-point shot from Timothy J. Butala ’17 gave MIT (1-0) and early 5-0 lead. Six minutes in Pedley hit on the first of his five treys in the contest, pushing the Engineers’ advantage to 11-4.

Jaren Yang answered with a three-pointer for Gordon (0-1), starting an 8-1 run for the Scots. Taylor Bajema scored the last three points of the run, with his free throw midway through the half tying the game at 12-12. Another Bajema basket kept the contest tied at 14-14, but Pedley connected on another trey to put MIT back on top, a lead that the Engineers would hold the rest of the game.

Frankel and Andrew M. Acker ’15 each had four points of an 8-0 spurt for MIT that put it up 25-15 with 4:39 left in the half. The Engineers still led by 10 with less than two minutes left after another Acker basket, but a three by Dominic Paradis enabled the Scots to cut the margin to 29-22 at the half.

Gordon opened the second half with a basket from Hans Miersma, but a three from Levene followed by a layup from Acker pulled MIT back out to a 10-point lead two minutes in. The Scots stayed with the Engineers, however, and connected on back-to-back threes by Paradis and Bajema to get back within three at 38-35 at 16:21.

Baskets by Acker and Frankel gave MIT some breathing room, but Gordon was still within five at 42-37 with 14 minutes left. After neither team scored for two and a half minutes, Pedley connected on back-to-back threes to key a 9-0 run that gave the Engineers their biggest lead of the night, 51-37, on a Frankel lay in with 10 minutes to go.

With 7:39 left Pedley hit his final three-pointer of the night to extend the advantage to 56-39. MIT missed its final nine field goal attempts, but Gordon could not cash in as the Scots hit just 3-of-11 in the same stretch. The Engineers got enough points on the free throw line, hitting 8-of-13 from the stripe over the last two and a half minutes, to hold off any comeback attempt by Gordon.

Acker, who notched 14 double-doubles last season, was the other MIT player in doubles figures, finishing with 16 points and 10 boards. Frankel notched eight assists without a turnover while also picking up a pair of steals for the Engineers. Bajema hit on 8 of 12 shots from the field on his way to a team-high 19 points for Gordon and also led the team with seven rebounds and five assists.

MIT will be back in action on Monday, November 24 when the Engineers will open at home against Newbury College at 7 p.m.