Cambridge, MA --- The WPI men's basketball team suffered a 59-55 setback to MIT on Saturday afternoon in their NEWMAC regular season finale.
Worcester's Engineers will head into the NEWMAC tournament, with WPI (19-6) as the two seed and will host third-seeded Babson on Friday at 7pm in a semifinal match-up. MIT concludes its season with a 12-13 overall record and 5-9 mark in the league.
WPI's Garrett Stephenson (Townsend, MA) scored 21 points, while shooting 10-13 from the floor (77%). Stephenson went toe to toe with Ian Hinkley (Raleigh, NC) of MIT, who scored a game-high 23 points, including 5-10 from three-point land.
Reid Walker (Tampa, FL) hit a pair of free-throws with 1:12 left to help WPI tie the game at 55, but those were the last points scored by the visitors.
MIT took the lead for good on a pair of free-throws by Dan Pilsbury (Millington, NJ), and despite a steal by Walker, WPI could not convert at the other end on two occasions.
Kael Kordonowy (Wichita, KS) and Alex Cho (San Diego, CA) each made foul shots down the stretch for MIT, and Cho sealed the win with a steal in the final seconds.
WPI led 31-29 at the half in a game featuring 10 ties and 7 lead changes. Neither team led by more than 7, a margin gained by WPI at the 7:49 mark of the first half when a three-point jumper by Colin McNamara (Arlington, MA) made it 23-16.
Led by Hinkley, MIT was 9-23 (39%) from behind the three-point line, while WPI shot better from the floor (43.4%) and had a 37-30 edge on the glass.
A double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds from Stephenson helped that effort, while Walker added six rebounds, eight points, four assists and three steals.
McNamara was 2-2 from long-range and he and Jake Needleman (Morganville, NJ) each scored eight points for WPI.
MIT played just six student-athletes, with Giannis Chatziveroglou (Athens, Greece) scoring eight points and grabbing six rebounds as the only player off of the home team's bench.
Matas Masys (Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.) scored 10 points and handed out five assists, while Pilsbury also had five dimes in the MIT victory.