WELLESLEY, Mass. – In the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener for both squads, the MIT women's basketball team emerged with a 45-39 victory over Wellesley College on Wednesday night. Sophomore Alexxis Isaac (San Antonio, Texas) tallied a game-high 13 points to go along with six rebounds and three steals for the Engineers, who improved to 3-2 on the year.
Freshman Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) posted eight rebounds, seven points, five blocks, and three assists for MIT while sophomore Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) added seven points, three assists, and two steals. Senior Lauren Sascha Burton (Seattle, Wash.) also tacked on seven points while junior Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif.) contributed six points coming off the bench. Junior Tamara Pena (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) bolstered the rebounding corps with four caroms.
The Engineers built a 7-2 advantage after 7:29 elapsed as five points came from Kordell. The Blue replied with a 12-5 run during the next six minutes to take their only lead of the night. MIT countered with nine straight points, including back-to-back treys by Burton, to go ahead 21-14 with 2:36 left in the half. Wellesley sank two layups late in the frame to enter the break trailing 21-18.
The visitors increased their cushion early in the second half courtesy of a basket by Isaac and two Ramachandran free throws. The Blue quickly narrowed the gap to three (25-22) at the 17:26 mark, but the Engineers responded with a 7-2 spurt during the next four minutes. Wellesley slowly chipped away at the deficit as sophomore Meghan Sargent's (Bedford, N.H.) free throw knotted the game at 36 with 6:31 to go.
Pena's put-back ended the deadlock almost two minutes later while her free throw coupled with Isaac's layup clinched the lead for good. Senior Ashleigh Sargent (Bedford, N.H.) drained a free throw with 1:28 on the clock to end the Blue's scoring drought and bring them within four (41-37). The Engineers then closed out the game by hitting four of their six attempts at the charity stripe during the final 33 seconds while Wellesley provided the last field goal with nine ticks left.
MIT continues NEWMAC play on the road on Saturday, Dec. 1 at WPI.