BOSTON, Mass. – Despite shooting 40.7 percent by MIT in the first half, the Wentworth Institute of Technology women's basketball team battled for a 50-46 victory in the season-opener for both squads on Tuesday night.
Both team's offenses struggled early, combining for just 28 points over the first nine minutes of play before MIT turned a 14-all contest into a 20-14 lead with 7:05 left in the half. A three pointer by Margo Batie, a layup by Rachel Hunt, and one of two free throws from Marissa Good provided the Engineers with the six straight points.
The Leopards scored the next five points, as Kirsten Vallone drained a jumper, and, after a turnover, Ashley Conway hit a three pointer. MIT built the lead back up to as much as five and led by a pair (28-26) at the break.
Morgan Furman opened the second half with a layup to tie the game at 28-all before MIT scored the next four points to take a four-point lead. A three pointer by Conway and a free throw by Furman knotted the game at 32-all and Kendra Kerr's basket with 11:51 left gave the hosts their first lead of the half.
A pair of free throws from Meagan Pennock extended a one-point lead to three (42-39) with 6:25 to play, but MIT countered with a three pointer from Anna Merrifield with 5:34 left. Jordan Biggar drained a three-ball on Wentworth's next possession to go ahead for good.
Trailing by three with two seconds left, Merrifield was fouled on the floor. Shooting in the bonus situation, Merrifield drained the first, but her intentional miss of the second led to a shooting violation, giving Wentworth the ball. Vallone drained two free throws with five-tenths of a second remaining to seal the win.
Four different players – Furman, Conway, Pennock, and Kerr –had nine points to lead the Leopards, while Biggar chipped in with eight. Vallone led all rebounders with 14.
Lauren Sascha Burton led all scorers with 11 points to go along with four rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Merrifield finished with 11 rebounds, 10 points, two steals, and a block while Batie and Rebecca Odim both dished out four assists. Hunt tallied six points, five caroms, two blocks, and a steal in 19 minutes of action as Kristen Whaley contributed six points and three boards.
The Leopards (1-0) host Emerson on Wednesday night, while the Engineers are idle until Friday night when they battle Mass. College in the Golden Bear Hoop Classic in Springfield.
Release Courtesy of Wentworth Sports Information