Men’s basketball takes on difficult opponents

SOPHOMORE GUARD SEAN DEMPSEY TOSSES the ball towards the hoop during one of the Engineers’ matches last week at the East Campus Arena.

After losing to Union College last week, RPI secured another victory over Bard College, bringing its Liberty League record to 6-5. Senior co-captains Matthew Pooley and Matt Dixon lead the way with 19 points each for the Engineers, while junior Jamie Zajac contributed another 10.

The Engineers started excellent, jumping out to a 17 point lead in just seven minutes. Early threes by Pooley, Dixon, and Zajac made the game 9-4 and gave RPI the momentum. Just a few minutes later, junior Redon Qello made the layup in the paint to give the Engineers the 23-6 advantage.

However, Bard started a strong comeback, and chipped away multiple times at RPI’s lead before making a severe run with five minutes remaining. Bard turned a 12-point deficit into a one-point lead before a pair of late threes by freshman Engineer Josh Dugas slowed the run and gave RPI the 44-43 lead heading into halftime.

Once again, RPI started well after halftime, extending its lead to eight points with a 9-1 run in the first two and a half minutes. Similar to the first half, Bard slowed down the Engineers’ momentum and went on a run of its own to make it 57-57. It remained tight and was still tied with nine minutes remaining. Two free throws by Dixon gave the Engineers a 66-65 lead and they never looked back. RPI held the lead for the rest of the game, and two Pooley free throws closed the game out, giving the Engineers the 93-83 victory.

RPI has five games remaining in the regular season, including three upcoming games at Vassar College, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Hobart College. The Engineers will look to improve their 9-10 overall record as well as their 6-5 Liberty League record.