Comeback Bid Falls Short as Wheaton Edges out Tech, 58-56

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A 23-6 run by MIT that brought it within two points with 58 seconds remaining in regulation would not be enough as Wheaton College held on for a 58-56 victory in a NEWMAC women's basketball game on Wednesday. Tamara Pena led all scorers with 23 points, collecting 16 of them during the Engineers' second-half run.
 
Anna Merrifield registered 12 points and four rebounds, all coming off the offensive glass. Rachel Hunt tallied 11 points, seven boards (five offensive), two assists, and a steal. Rebecca Odim notched five rebounds as Lauren Sascha Burton chipped in four assists and four rebounds for MIT (8-13, 4-11 NEWMAC).

The early stages were closely played as Wheaton held a two-point lead (12-10) at the 12:45 mark. Seven straight points gave the Lyons some breathing room as they later extended their margin to 11 (31-20) with 47 seconds left in the half. Hunt's layup resulted in a 31-22 score at the intermission.

Wheaton's advantage quickly returned to double-digits in the second stanza and it eventually grew to 52-33 at the 9:03 mark. Back-to-back three-pointers from Pena ignited MIT's late rally while Merrifield's trey closed the gap to two (58-56) with 58 seconds left.

A solid defensive effort forced the Lyons to call a timeout with 10 seconds remaining on the shot clock. Following the break, Wheaton got a shot off right before the buzzer sounded but Pena blocked it and MIT came up with the ball with 27 seconds to go.

Although the Engineers' attempt at registering the tying basket was just off the mark, they hauled in the rebound but then turned the ball over with 10 seconds on the clock. After a timeout by the Lyons, MIT immediately fouled on the inbounds pass. The hosts failed to convert the front-end of a one-and-one which resulted in Odim grabbing the rebound. Unfortunately, the Engineers were unable to generate a shot during waning moments of the game.