MIT advances to second round
Kates scores 24 points to lead Engineers past Thoroughbreds
ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Junior Mitchell Kates came up two assists shy of a triple-double, finishing with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists, as No. 3 MIT defeated Skidmore, 62-55, in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday. With the win, the Engineers (26-1) advance to the second round for the third time in four years and will face the winner of the game between host Hartwick and Farmingdale State.
Kates shot eight-of-14 from the field and seven-for-10 from the foul line while also adding three steals. Senior Noel Hollingsworth scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half and junior Will Tashman tied a career-high with 15 rebounds while scoring 12 points.
Senior Kyle Clark was a perfect six-for-six from the field en route to a team-high 14 points. Senior guard Gerard O'Shea had 13 points, four assists and three boards for the Thoroughbreds. Skidmore launched 27 3-pointers, making nine, to help push the third-ranked Engineers to the very end.
After O'Shea's three-point play brought Skidmore within five with 9:16 to play, the Cardinal and Gray reeled off five consecutive points, a three-point play by Hollingsworth and a layup from Kates, to lead 54-44. Skidmore responded with a 7-0 run capped off by a 3-pointer from senior Terron Victoria to cut the deficit back down to three with 5:37 to play.
The teams would then go nearly three minutes without a field goal before Clark's driving layup brought his team within two, 55-53, with 2:44 to go. Kates answered right back at the other end, however, to push the advantage back to four and, from there, the teams traded free throws, with MIT making five-of-six from the line to close out the game.
Skidmore took an early 9-2 lead, behind five points by Clark, before Kates snapped the MIT drought with a fade-away jumper. Kates' jumper led to four consecutive buckets for the Engineers, capped by a Billy Bender 3-pointer, to give MIT its first lead of the evening. Tech would outscore the Thoroughbreds 12-2 later in the half, between the 12 and eight-minute media timeouts, to take a 25-17 lead at the 7:07 mark.
The Engineers would eventually lead 34-24 at the intermission, as Kates and Tashman combined for 24 of MIT's 34 points in the opening stanza.
Tech shot 47.9 percent from the field (23-48) while owning a 40-23 advantage on the boards. MIT also outscored Skidmore 34-20 in the paint.