January 7, 2010

Late Rally Falls Short as Clark Defeats Women’s Basketball, 51-46

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Despite a 13-6 run by MIT during the final three minutes of regulation, host Clark University held on a for 51-46 victory in a NEWMAC women’s basketball game on Wednesday night. Aparna Sud led the Engineers (2-9, 0-5 NEWMAC) with 14 points, including 11 during the late rally.

Anna Merrifield notched eight points and four rebounds as Lauren Sascha Burton tallied nine assists, seven points, and no turnovers in 36 minutes of action. Stephanie Cooke grabbed a team-high six rebounds to go along with five points and two steals coming off the bench. Kristen Whaley chipped in five boards and a game-high three steals for the Cardinal and Gray. As a team, MIT committed a season-low nine turnovers, which is just two more than the Institute record.

Jill Camilleri led the Cougars (3-8, 2-3 NEWMAC) with 19 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks. Kate Minister posted eight boards, five points, and four assists while Kelsey Johnston contributed eight points.

The first half was closely played as a three-pointer by Lauren Simmons evened the contest at eight and a trey from Burton tied the game at 15 with 5:51 left in the frame. A lay-up on its next possession ended Clark’s four-minute scoring drought and sparked an 11-0 run that resulted in a 26-15 advantage at the intermission.

The Cougars opened the second stanza with a lay-up for their largest lead of the game. MIT countered with six straight points which narrowed the gap to seven (28-21) after three minutes elapsed. Clark inched out to another 13-point advantage midway through the frame, but the Engineers whittled it down to seven (40-33) courtesy of a three-point play by Cooke at the 7:25 mark. The Cougars’ margin slowly returned to double-digits as a Minister basket put them up, 45-33, with 3:57 on the clock.

Merrifield’s jumper on the Engineers’ next trip down the court sparked their late rally. Sud followed with a three-pointer and a steal by Cooke set up a trey for Sud. Clark converted a lay-up which prompted a timeout by MIT. Coming out of the break, Sud drained another three-pointer which trimmed the deficit to three (47-44) with 1:20 on the clock.

The Cougars called a timeout 10 seconds later and maintained possession as the Engineers used a pair of fouls to stop the clock. A Clark offensive foul gave MIT the ball with 43 seconds remaining in regulation. A three-point try by Sud was off the mark and the ensuing rebound was snagged by Camilleri with 22 seconds left to play. Sally Simpson immediately fouled her, which put the Cougars in the bonus. At the same time, Clark was assessed a technical foul. Sud drained both of her shots at the charity stripe but Camilleri converted both ends of a one-and-one to maintain the three-point edge (49-46). MIT couldn’t connect on its next trip down the court as a foul sent Camilleri to the line where she closed the scoring with a pair of free throws.