CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In a game of lead-changing runs, the MIT women's basketball team came out on top with a 54-46 victory over non-conference foe Pine Manor College on Tuesday night. Stephanie Cooke paced the Engineers' balanced attack with eight points to go along with eight rebounds, including six off the offensive glass. The Gators were led by Therline Dumeran, who amassed 18 rebounds, 12 points, four steals, and two blocks.
MIT (2-2) quickly established an 8-2 advantage which grew to 14-5 at the 10:56 mark courtesy of Stephanie Cooke's free throw following a technical foul. Pine Manor (0-2) responded with a 22-1 run over the course of the next eight minutes to record its largest lead of the night (27-15). Tia Nelson posted seven points for the Gators while Dumeran registered six points.
The Engineers countered with 18 unanswered points that spanned both halves and put them in front early in the second stanza. MIT tallied nine straight during the final two minutes of the opening frame, cutting its deficit to 27-24 at the break. Cooke ignited the spurt with a pair of free throws which were followed by two layups from Rachel Hunt and a three-point play by Sydney Beasley with 17 seconds on the clock.
Two baskets from Marissa Good were sandwiched by a Cooke layup and three-point play that resulted in a 33-27 edge for MIT after 3:20 elapsed in the second half. Pine Manor stayed within striking distance for most of the frame before going ahead, 40-39, on back-to-back treys from Yiafia Dowridge and Nelson with less than seven minutes to play. Anna Merrifield's jumper on the Engineers' ensuing possession was quickly bolstered by Lauren Sascha Burton's layup.
Dowridge's jumper and a free throw later on knotted the game at 43 while Dumeran's first free-throw on a one-and-one put the Gators in front with 3:58 to go. Merrifield hauled in the rebound off the miss as Tamara Pena's basket gave MIT a lead it would not relinquish. Back-to-back jumpers from Rebecca Odim resulted in some breathing room for the Engineers as they scored their final five points from the charity stripe. Pine Manor's Enjolee Phillips closed out the game with a layup at the buzzer.
Burton finished with 10 rebounds, six points, three assists, two blocks, and a steal while Merrifield totaled seven points and seven boards. Pena notched seven points as Hunt contributed six points and five caroms. Beasley and Kristen Whaley both added six points coming off the bench, helping the Engineers take a 26-13 advantage in bench scoring. MIT also led the way in points in the paint (30-8), second-chance scoring (22-14), and rebounding (54-39).
Dowridge and Nelson both reached double-digits in scoring, registering 12 and 11 points, respectively. Jataiya Alexander compiled 10 rebounds, three assists, and three steals while Phillips chipped in six points. As a team, the Gators ended the night with a 23-15 advantage in points off turnovers.
MIT returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 27 when it hosts Fisher College while Pine Manor will take on Bay Path College in its first home game of the season on Monday, Nov. 29.