CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A balanced scoring performance helped guide MIT to a 46-37 victory over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball game on Thursday night. The Engineers improved to 8-9 overall and 4-7 in conference play while also sweeping the season series with the Bears for first time in program history.
Rachel Hunt tallied 10 points, five rebounds, four blocks, and three steals for MIT as Lauren Sascha Burton posted nine boards and eight points. Tamara Pena and Anna Merrifield both registered nine points and five rebounds while Pena added five steals. Coming off the bench, Margo Batie dished out a game-high four assists as Kristen Whaley grabbed four rebounds.
Karli Collins led all scorers with 11 points to go along with seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals for Coast Guard (2-14, 0-11 NEWMAC). Allison Majcher hauled in a game-high 13 rebounds and chipped in two blocks as Larla Brown recorded 10 points and nine rebounds. Alexa Hunko paced the Bears' bench with seven points and six rebounds, with five coming off the offensive glass.
A pair of Majcher free throws put Coast Guard in front, 4-3, at the 16:06 mark. Sparked by Burton's layup nearly three minutes later, MIT registered 11 unanswered points to reclaim the lead for good. The Bears narrowed the gap to four (16-12) with 6:33 left before the intermission courtesy of four-point efforts by Brown and Collins. This was as close as it would get for the visitors as two Burton drives to the basket broke up the defensive battle late in the frame. Brown's free throw ended Coast Guard's five-minute scoring drought and resulted in a 20-13 halftime score.
Both sides traded baskets during the early stages of the second stanza with Hunko's layup bringing the Bears within six points (27-21) with 12:27 on the clock. The Engineers responded with a 17-5 run during the next five minutes resulting in their largest lead of the night (44-26). A put-back by Hunko ignited Coast Guard's 11-2 spurt that closed out the game.
Both squads continue conference play at home on Saturday, Jan. 29. MIT will host Springfield College while Coast Guard takes on Wheaton College.