CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A big first half propelled Smith College to a 61-36 victory over MIT in a NEWMAC women's basketball game on Saturday afternoon. Freshman Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) led the Engineers (8-8, 4-6 NEWMAC) with 10 points to go along with two assists and one steal. Senior Ellie Giles (Charlottesville, Va.) tallied 10 points, eight rebounds, four steals, two assists, and two blocks for the Pioneers (12-4, 7-3 NEWMAC).
A pair of free throws by sophomore Rosa Drummond (Rye, N.H.) opened the scoring for Smith as a basket by junior Devon Quattrocchi (Brewster, N.Y.) quickly increased the visitors' lead after three minutes expired. A three-pointer from Kordell put MIT on the board at the 16:09 mark, but the Pioneers responded with a 21-4 run during the next eight minutes resulting in a 25-7 advantage. An eight-point effort by Giles fueled the game-changing stretch for Smith.
The Engineers countered with a 10-3 spurt which trimmed their deficit to 11 (28-17) with 4:04 left in the half. The Pioneers then rattled off 12 straight points, six courtesy of junior Brittany Purington (Weare, N.H.). Junior Lauren Sascha Burton (Seattle, Wash.) sank a layup in the final seconds to make the score, 40-19, in favor of Smith at the intermission.
Both sides traded baskets for most of the second half until the Pioneers put together a 10-2 run that increased their margin to 61-32 with 2:23 left to play. MIT continued to attack as freshman Alexxis Isaac (San Antonio, Texas) drained a layup and was sent to the charity stripe with 47 seconds to go. Although her free throw was off the mark, she snatched the rebound and sank the put-back for the final points of the game.
Burton totaled eight rebounds and three steals while sophomore Tamara Pena (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) registered eight points, five boards, and four steals for the Cardinal and Gray. Isaac finished with seven rebounds, six points, and two blocks as sophomore Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) posted seven boards, six points, and a block. Senior Liz Burton (Fountain, Colo.) bolstered the rebounding corps with four caroms.
Drummond and freshman Alyssa Barrett (Berlin, Conn.) both notched nine points as Drummond grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. Junior Amanda Zakoske (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Purington both had eight points while Quattrocchi compiled seven points and three assists. Freshman Maddie Page (Arvada, Colo.) added six points and five rebounds as junior Lizzy BelBruno (Hanover, N.H.) snatched three steals.
Both teams continue NEWMAC play on the road on Wednesday, Jan. 25. MIT will visit Wellesley College while Smith will travel to Mount Holyoke College.