WELLESLEY, Mass. – Host Wellesley College tallied 14 unanswered points during a span of seven minutes en route to a 44-26 win over MIT in a NEWMAC women's basketball game on Wednesday night. Freshman Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) compiled nine points, four steals, and two assists for the Engineers (8-9, 4-7 NEWMAC).
The Blue opened the game with five straight points while a Kordell three-pointer put MIT on the board. A layup and three-point play gave Wellesley some breathing room, but a layup by freshman Alexxis Isaac (San Antonio, Texas) narrowed the gap to five (10-5) at the 13:30 mark. After over two minutes of scoreless play, the Blue began its pivotal run that resulted in a 24-5 advantage with 4:14 left in the half.
Despite the deficit, the Engineers closed the frame with a 9-2 spurt to enter the break trailing, 26-14. Merrifield started the scoring burst with two free-throws, followed by a trey from sophomore Tamara Pena (Aliso Viejo, Calif.), and a layup courtesy of junior Lauren Sascha Burton (Seattle, Wash.). Wellesley broke up the spree with a layup while Merrifield sank a pair of shots from the charity stripe with 37 seconds to go.
MIT scored seven of the first nine points to start the second stanza and come within eight (29-21) with 13:40 on the clock. This was as close as it would get as the Blue registered seven points over the course of the next nine minutes.
Kordell drained two free throws to end the Cardinal and Gray's scoring drought, and after a Wellesley layup, Isaac converted one of her own to make the score 38-25 with 2:46 left in the game. Unfortunately this would not be enough to spark a late rally as the Blue wrapped up the win by recording eight of the last nine points.
Merrifield totaled five rebounds, four points, two assists, and two steals as Pena added six points and two steals. Burton rounded out the squad with six boards and three steals.
MIT will conclude its road trip at league foe WPI on Saturday, Jan. 28.