MIT Downs Diplomats
Georgio Milligan, Franklin & Marshall
MIT 69, Franklin & Marshall 54
No. 3 MIT defeated No. 9 Franklin & Marshall 69-54 in the NCAA Elite Eight Saturday evening in Lancaster. F&M wrapped up its season with a 28-3 mark while MIT improved to 29-1 and advanced to their first Final Four.
The Engineers jumped out to an early four point lead three minutes into the game before F&M countered with a 9-1 run to go up four points, 9-5, at 14:11. MIT responded with a 6-0 run over the next five minutes to take a 14-9 edge at 9:33. The Diplomats countered by outscoring MIT 8-2 to go up one, 17-16 with 6:14 left in the half. Tech put an 8-2 run of their own over the two minutes and took a five point, 24-19, lead at 4:28.
Georgio Milligan hit a three on F&M's next possession to bring F&M within two, 24-22, and Brandon Beckford hit one of two from the line as F&M came within a point, 24-23, with 3:08 remaining in the half. MIT answered with a 6-0 run to end half and went into the break with a 30-23 advantage.
The teams traded points to start of the second half, but MIT pulled away and went up 13 points, 43-30, five minutes into the stanza. F&M battled back with an 8-2 run over the next eight minutes to come within seven, 45-38, with 7:17 remaining in the game. MIT took control and jumped out to a double-digit lead 59-45, at 1:37. The Diplomats made a comeback attempt with six unanswered to come within eight, 59-51, and came within seven, 60-53 with 52 seconds left, but the Engineers stood strong and quickly retook a double-digit lead to close out the game.
Milligan finished with a game-high 23 points, shooting 6-for-6 from the line and 3-for-5 from behind the arc. The senior scored 20 or more points in three of F&M's four NCAA Tournament games this season. Hayk Gyokchyan and Jon Salandra both tallied 11 points. Salandra finished with a game-high 11 boards.
Mitchell Kates contributed a team-high 21 points for MIT while Jamie Karraker and Noel Hollingsworth finished with 17 and 14 points respectively.