PROVIDENCE, R.I. – In the first meeting between both programs, MIT emerged with a 55-43 victory over Johnson & Wales University in a non-conference women's basketball game on Wednesday night. Sophomore Alexxis Isaac (San Antonio, Texas) paced the Engineers (6-4) with 18 points to go along with six rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.
The Wildcats took an early 6-4 edge but MIT countered with a 15-6 run in a span of eight minutes to claim a 19-12 advantage at the 6:31 mark. Freshman Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) contributed seven points, including the first five of the rally. Johnson & Wales battled back and evened the score at 19 courtesy of a 5-of-6 performance at the free throw line and a layup with 3:10 to go.
Ramachandran's free throw broke the deadlock almost a minute later as two free throws and a layup by Isaac gave the Engineers some breathing room at 24-21. Johnson & Wales drained a pair free throws on its next possession while sophomore Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif.) converted both of her attempts at the charity stripe with 19 seconds left to give MIT a 26-23 lead at halftime.
The Wildcats sank two free throws to start the second stanza but a three-point play by freshman Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) sparked a 13-6 spurt which resulted in a 39-31 advantage with 14:16 on the clock. Johnson & Wales recorded seven straight points during the next five minutes to come within one (39-38). This was as close as it would get as MIT rattled off eight unanswered points resulting in its largest cushion of the night with 5:05 remaining.
The hosts continued to attack as they trimmed the deficit to five (47-42) in the next 51 seconds. A layup by Isaac thwarted the comeback attempt while the Wildcats tallied what proved to be their final point of the game from the charity stripe at the 3:38 mark. The Engineers secured the victory on two free throws by Hao and Isaac during the final two minutes as sophomore Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) buried a jumper with two ticks left.
Ramachandran racked up a game-high 12 rebounds and five blocks to go along with eight points and two assists. Kordell finished with 12 points, four boards, and four assists as Drammis hauled in eight rebounds. In addition to scoring all four of her points from the free-throw line, Hao tacked on five steals and five rebounds.
MIT returns to action on Saturday, January 5 when it hosts NEWMAC foe Clark University at 2:00 p.m.