CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Behind a career-high
20 points from Anna Merrifield, the MIT women’s basketball
team went on to record a 62-48 victory over host U.S. Coast Guard
Academy on Wednesday night. Of the Engineers’ 16 wins against
the Bears, this was the program’s sixth victory in New
London, Conn. and the first since the 2002-03 season.
Merrifield, who shot 8-of-12 from the floor and 4-of-6 six from three-point range, also contributed six rebounds. Sally Simpson registered 10 points, four boards, and three steals. Aparna Sud notched 10 points, including a 6-of-6 performance at the charity stripe, to go along with four caroms. Kristen Whaley posted 10 points and three steals coming off the bench while Stephanie Cooke added eight points and three steals.
Melissa Martinelli led the way with 17 points and 14 rebounds for Coast Guard (4-11, 3-8 NEWMAC) as Karli Collins chipped in 14 points and 14 boards.
MIT (4-13, 2-9 NEWMAC) grabbed 15 steals compared to five by the Bears and surrendered 13 turnovers while the hosts lost the ball 33 times. As a result, the Engineers finished with a 29-6 advantage in points off turnovers.
A trey by Merrifield opened the scoring, but Coast Guard followed with a basket by Martinelli and two free throws from Collins to capture the lead with 16:48 on the clock. The Engineers responded with a 23-5 run during the next 14 minutes to establish a 26-9 advantage. The Bears put together a late spurt, capped by a jumper from Collins as time expired, but they trailed 30-18 at halftime.
MIT continued to control the game as its margin grew to 18 points (44-26) midway through the second stanza. Coast Guard battled back, coming within 10 points at the 3:59 and 1:45 marks. This was as close as it would get as the Engineers went 10-of-12 from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the victory.