Mount Holyoke Fights off Women's Basketball, 60-50

Courtesy of Mount Holyoke College Sports Information

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Using a balanced scoring attack, the Mount Holyoke College women’s basketball team picked up a 60-50 triumph over New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe MIT this afternoon at the Mildred S. Howard Gymnasium. With the win, the Lyons completed the season sweep of the Engineers and clinched a spot in the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament.

Four players reached double digits in the scoring column for the Lyons, who converted 46.8% (22-47) of their shots from the field and 82.4% (14-17) of their free throw attempts. They were paced by Angelica Pascual, who collected 14 points and nine rebounds. Jess Olson tallied 11 points, while Erin Cain and Tricia Chase added 10 apiece. Cain matched her career high with seven assists in the contest. Mount Holyoke finished with a 36-24 edge on the glass.

Anna Merrifield recorded 12 points and eight boards, including six off the offensive glass, to lead the way for MIT. Lauren Sascha Burton tallied nine points and five rebounds while Sally Simpson added nine points and two steals. Stephanie Cooke posted eight points as Kristen Whaley contributed five points, two steals, and two rebounds.

Neither side led by more than six points in a first half that saw four ties and three lead changes. Mount Holyoke jumped out to a 12-6 advantage midway through the opening frame behind six Pascual points. MIT scored the next five points and grabbed a 20-18 edge following a pair of free throws by Kristen Whaley.

The Engineers enjoyed a 22-20 edge at the 1:41 mark, but Mount Holyoke reeled off the next six points to take a 26-22 cushion into the locker room. Pascual highlighted the rally with a baseline jumper at the buzzer.

Mount Holyoke pulled away with a 12-2 spurt in the early stages of the second stanza. The Lyons stretched their cushion to 44-32 on a pair of Pascual free throws with 13:11 remaining in regulation. The first year registered six more points during the run, which spanned just four minutes.

MIT sliced the deficit to six points on two occasions, the last on a three-pointer by Merrifield to make the score, 56-48, with 2:53 left to play. Christine Chancy replied with a layup 10 seconds later and free throws from Emilie Methot at the 1:40 mark returned the double-digit advantage to the Lyons. Burton drained a jumper with a under minute to go, but Olson responded with a basket of her own to cap the scoring.

Both squads will resume their NEWMAC schedules on the road Wednesday night. Mount Holyoke (8-15, 6-10 NEWMAC) will travel to the Coast Guard Academy for a contest beginning at 7:00 p.m., while MIT (5-17, 3-13 NEWMAC) will visit WPI at 7:30 p.m.