WPI Upset by MIT in NEWMAC Tournament Semifinals

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Worcester, MA --- Fourth-seeded MIT broke open a halftime tie by scoring 25 of the second half's first 30 points en route to a 64-46 victory over top-seed and host WPI in a NEWMAC men's basketball tournament semifinal contest played Saturday afternoon in Harrington Auditorium.

With the victory, MIT improves to 19-8 on the season and advances to Sunday's championship game back at WPI on Sunday at 1pm against the winner of the day's second game between second-seeded Babson and third-seeded Springfield.  WPI, No. 12 in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 and fifth in the latest NCAA Division III NCAA Northeast rankings, is now 22-4 and awaits word on a possible NCAA Tournament bid on Monday.

The MIT defense was the highlight of the spurt over the opening 14 minutes of the second stanza, holding WPI to 2-of-18 shooting from the floor before a Sam Longwell (Acton, MA) 3-pointer stopped the run that saw a 29-29 deadlock transform into a 54-35 advantage.

While WPI was struggling, MIT surged ahead by draining 8 of their first 11 shots after the break.  Cambridge's Engineers rattled off the first seven points on a 3-pointer from Ryan Frankel (New York, NY) and baskets by Matt Redfield (Los Altos, CA) and Dennis Levene(Weston, CT) to take a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the way.  In fact, when five straight points by Justin Pedley (Kennewick, WA) just over eight minutes into the session put MIT up double figures, WPI was never able to get back into single digits. 

MIT has the inside-outside game working to near perfection.  They enjoyed a 24-12 edge in points and a 36-24 advantage on the glass, while still able to can 70% (7-of-10) of its three-point attempts.

Pedley finished with 16 points while Frankel chipped in with 15 to go along with three assists.  Redfield amassed 14 points and a game-high 14 boards and Andrew Acker (Merion Station, PA) and Leven both added nine points with the former leading all players with four assists on the day.

In a first half that saw 10 lead changes and five ties, Ryan Kolb (Southington, CT) led all scorers with 10 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, and in the process became the 25th WPI men's basketball player to reach the 1,000 point milestone.  Justin Pedley (Kennewick, WA) paced MIT with 10 points, including draining both of his trifecta attempts, and MIT was 4-of-5 behind the arc in a first half that saw the teams battle to a 29-29 draw at the break. 

Kolb ended with a game-best 12 points. Longwell and Domenick Mastacusa (North Reading, MA) both reached double figures with 10 points each while Zach Karalis (North Andover, MA) collected eight points and Matt Harrington (Shrewsbury, MA) doled out three assists.