Lee leads the way with 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting
FITCHBURG, Mass. – The Fitchburg State Men's basketball team dropped a tightly contested battle as MIT guard Justin Peadley was able to hit a lay-up in the paint with three seconds left to give his team the victory by a final of 49-47 at Parkinson Gymnasium.
The contest had a total of 17 lead changes with the biggest lead for any team being a mere five points.
Midway through the first half, after each team had exchanged buckets for the first 10 minutes of play, the Falcons defensive zone began to give the Engineers trouble, as Fitchburg State began to take over the first half.
Trailing by five and with eight minutes to go, the Green and Gold began a 10-2 scoring run, which began with Anthony Muccioli converting a lay-up in traffic. Following a missed three-pointer by MIT, Jaleel Bell would get the deficit down to one point (20-19) following back-to-back lay-ins.
The Falcons gained their first lead since the opening minute of play at the 5:46 mark, when Kwame Lee put the home team up one with a jumper over his defender. On the next possession, it would be Lee again, but this time driving the paint and finishing off the glass. With Adam Jurko sinking a jump shot late in the first half, the hosts headed into the locker room with a 23-22 lead.
The second half of play opened up with freshman forward Tim Roberts converting four points on a 7-1 run for the Engineers, giving them a 29-24 lead with 15:26 remaining in the second frame. Fitchburg State fought back, regaining the lead after a three minute 9-0 run capped off by six of Lee's team-high 13 points to give the home squad a three-point advantage at 33-29.
The two teams again exchanged baskets for extended time as the lead would switch hands seven times over the span of six minutes, before Ryan Frankel gave the Engineers some breathing room with a timely shot beyond the three-point arc, giving his team the 47-43 lead with four minutes remaining.
Josh Bosworth pulled the home team to within a couple (47-45) after being set up by teammate Richie Warren Jr. for an easy layup conversion. With Givaughn Jones successfully knocking down two shots from the charity stripe, the Green and Gold knotted the score at 47-47.
Setting the stages for Peadely's go ahead layup with just three seconds left in the contest. Following Peadley's bucket, the Green and Gold nearly retied the contest as Bell received the inbound pass from Bosworth, sprinting down the court and getting off a good look with time winding down, but his attempt from inside the three-point arc bounced inside the rim, resulting in the 49-47.
Fitchburg State was paced by Lee, who finished with a game-best 13 points, corralling eight rebounds and one assist, while Bosworth was also solid for the Falcons, just missing a double-double with nine points, 11 boards, and three assists. For MIT, their leading scorer came off the bench as Roberts amassed 13 points in 26 minutes of action, while picking up five rebounds along with an assist and a steal. Pedley also finished in double figures for the Engineers, collecting ten points to go along with two steals and an assist.
The Engineers took 52 total shots, with 25 of those shots coming from beyond the arc, hitting six three pointers at 24% from downtown and 40.4% from the field. Fitchburg State went 19-54 (35.2%), hitting one shot from beyond the arc, while hitting 8 of 12 free throws.
The Falcons held a slight margin on the boards, winning the battle 35 to 33, including a slim 8-6 advantage on the offensive end.
Fitchburg State (3-4; 0-0 MASCAC) return to the hardwood on Thursday, December 3rd, hosting the Lyons of Wheaton College at 7 p.m. MIT (4-1; 0-0 NEWMAC) return to action on Tuesday, December 1st, as they travel to UMass Boston for a 7:00 p.m. start.
Release Courtesy of Fitchburg State student journalist Kyle Prudhomme