MIT Fights Off Late Rally To Down Blue Hoops, 52-38

Photo by Julia Monaco
Photo by Julia Monaco

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Visiting MIT fought off a late rally from Wellesley College basketball to earn a 52-38 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory on Wednesday evening at Gracia Mangano Martore '73 Court.

The Engineers snap a two-game skid with the win, improving to 14-6 overall and 9-3 in conference play. Wellesley is now 3-16 on the season and 1-11 in the NEWMAC.

MIT first year guard Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.) led all players with 17 points, shooting 50 percent from the floor. Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) also finished in double-figures, as the senior scored 14 points and was a perfect 7-7 from the floor. Ramachandran added pulled down seven boards, while classmate Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) collected a team-high nine rebounds to go along with eight points. Junior Liana Ilutzi (East Hanover, N.J.) finished the contest with eight assists. 

For the Blue, senior Chelsi Scott (Portland, Mich.) registered a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Scott finished as the only Wellesley player in double-figures, as sophomore Kayla Jang (South Pasadena, Calif.) chipped in with nine points and senior Alex Berman (Tucson, Ariz.) and sophomore Chelsea Brown (San Jose, Calif.) each scored 6 points. Jang, Brown and sophomore Anna Cahill (New London, N.H.) each had four rebounds, respectively.

MIT broke a 6-6 tie midway through the first quarter when Drammis hit on a layup to put the visitors ahead, 8-6. The bucket sparked a 7-0 MIT run that saw the Engineers take a 13-6 lead with 2:51 remaining in the opening stanza. The teams exchanged baskets before Berman hit on a pair of free throw to make the score 15-10 with just two seconds remaining. Holinski then ended the quarter with a triple from the corner, as Ilutzi was able to find her following a long inbounds pass, to make the score 18-10. 

The Engineers carried the momentum into the second quarter, hitting on their first two attempts from the floor to take a 22-10 advantage.  Wellesley would go on to outscore MIT 11-9 in the remaining seven minutes but still continued to trail by a ten-point margin at the half, 31-21.

Jang opened the third quarter with a three, pulling Wellesley back to within seven, at 31-24. However, MIT countered with a 10-0 run, capped by a layup from Drammis at 3:31, to take their largest lead of the game, at 41-24. Scott and Jang found the bottom of the net in the closing minutes of the third but MIT took a 43-28 lead into the final quarter. 

The Blue outscored MIT, 10-9, in the fourth quarter, cutting the MIT lead to single digits following a 6-0 run to open the frame. Jang and Brown each hit on baskets, while Scott knocked down a pair of free throws, as the Blue made the score 43-34 with 5:59 to play. Wellesley would get no closer, as Ramachandran and Holinski knocked down layups on either side of a Scott layup to make the score 47-36 en route to the 52-38 MIT victory.

MIT shot 47.1 percent from the field, taking the 14-point win despite not attempting a free throw in the contest. Wellesley made 29.8 percent of their attempts, while holding a 33-28 advantage on the glass.

Both teams continue NEWMAC play at 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 6. The Blue will host Wheaton for Senior Day, while MIT returns home to Rockwell Cage to host Smith.