Cambridge, Mass. - Powered by a strong second
half showing and a double-double from sophomore Noel Hollingsworth,
host No. 11 MIT pulled away from visiting Clark and secured a 59-52
come-from-behind win at Rockwell Cage on Thursday evening.
With the win, the Engineers improve to 20-2 overall and 8-1 in the NEWMAC, while the Cougars slip to 12-10 and 3-6 in league action. Hollingsworth scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in the second half on 5-for-5 shooting, helping MIT erase a six-point halftime deficit with 57 percent accuracy.
Conversely for Clark, after connecting on 50 percent of their first half attempts, the visitors went cold in the final 20 minutes, making just six of its 21 second half shots.
The Cougars led by as many as eight at several junctures in the contest, including as late as the opening moments of the second half following an inside finish from Brian Vayda (Sturbridge, Mass.). After Vayda's layup, however, Clark went 2-for-15 and committed five turnovers over the next 12 minutes when they were outscored 19-9 and relinquished the lead.
The Engineers advantage grew slowly over the next few minutes but the Cougars responded by getting the lead down to one on two separate occasions following three-point plays from Vayda and Chris LoPiano (Franklin Square, N.Y.), but MIT scored the game's last six points over the final 2:37 to collect the victory.
Mark Alexander (Providence, R.I.) paced Clark with 17 points and three assists, while Vayda added 15 points and three helpers as well.
In addition to his 20 points, Hollingsworth added 11 rebounds, while freshman Jimmy Burke added 14 points - making 4-of-7 three-pointers - and classmate Mitchell Kates chipped in 13 points on 4-for-4 shooting.
The Cougars will return to action on Saturday when they host Springfield on Senior Day beginning at 1:00 p.m.