March 6, 2009




Engineers Edge Anchormen In OT, 73-68
Bartolotta Leads MIT Into NCAA Tournament, Second Round


Providence, R.I.óMIT advanced to the second round of the 2009 NCAA Division III Menís Basketball Tournament with a 73-68 overtime victory over host No. 18 Rhode Island College this evening at The Murray Center. Senior guard Jimmy Bartolotta (Littleton, Colo.) scored 10 of his game-high 27 points in the extra session, while classmate forward Billy Johnson (Everett, Wash.) recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds, to pace the visitors. 






 RIC Seniors Cameron Stewart, Kaseem Johnson, Wil Lyons, Bobby Bailey and Tirrell Hill played in their final collegiate game in the loss to the Engineers.




MIT (21-8), which is making its first appearance in the national tournament, advance to face Farmingdale State tomorrow night at 7 p.m. Rhode Island College (23-6) ends its season in the loss.




The Engineers were white-hot from the perimeter in overtime, connecting on each of their three attempts from behind the three-point arc. Bartolotta opened the extra session with a three-pointer, but the Anchormen countered with a traditional three-point play from freshman forward Mason Choice (Newport, R.I.). Bartolotta and Rhode Island College senior guard Bobby Bailey (Fall River, Mass.) traded three pointers to force the contestís 10th and final tie at 59-59 with 3:08 remaining in overtime.  




MIT freshman guard Jamie Karraker (Morgantown, W. Va.) drained a three-pointer, then the capitalized on an Anchormen turnover as Johnson went in for an uncontested layup, giving the visitors a lead they would not relinquish, 64-59. Rhode Island College attempted to stage a late-game comeback, but MIT kept them at an arms length by converting on nine-of-11 attempts from the charity stripe.  




Freshman guard Billy Bender (Woodlands, Texas) appeared to have the game won in the closing seconds of regulation as the rookie made each of his attempts from the foul line to give the Engineers a 53-51 lead with 5.8 seconds left on the clock. Bailey drove the length of the court and drew a foul on an attempted layup with 0.9 seconds remaining. The senior captain went two-for-two from the line to extend the contest.




In a tightly contested affair over the first seven minutes of regulation, MIT used a 15-2 run to open a double-digit lead, 19-8. Johnson triggered the run with five points, while three different players hit a three-pointer during the surge.




Rhode Island College used a stifling defensive attack to climb back into the game, limiting the Engineers to just three points and forcing 10 turnovers over the final eight minutes of regulation. The Anchormen fed off their defensive pressure as senior guard Cameron Stewart (Newport, R.I.) netted eight points, including a pair of three-pointers. Bailey and freshman guard Rob Bentil (East Hartford, Conn.) added four as the hosts closed the stanza on a 22-3 run to enter the intermission leading, 30-22.




The visitors continued the trend on going on sustained runs, as MIT stormed out of the locker room with an 8-0 surge to force a 30-all. Over the final 17 minutes of regulation, neither team was able to build a lead of larger than five points. 




Bartolotta led three student-athletes in double figures in scoring with 27 points. He was eight-of-19 from the floor, including three of seven from three-point land. Johnson poured in 19 points, while Karraker added 10. 




Bailey paced Rhode Island College with 16 points and a team-best seven rebounds, while Choice and Stewart chipped in with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Sophomore guard Antone Gray (Providence, R.I.) and Stewart each handed out four assists.