CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Smith College produced a pair of big runs in the second half to lift it to a 63-47 victory over MIT in a NEWMAC women's basketball game on Tuesday night. Junior Rosa Drummond (Rye, N.H.) led all scorers with 18 points as the Pioneers extended their winning streak to nine and improved to 11-1 on the year and 6-0 in conference play. Sophomore Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) posted 11 points and five rebounds for the Engineers, whose record moved to 6-6 overall and 2-4 in the NEWMAC.
The first half was closely played until Smith strung together seven straight points which resulted in a 28-18 advantage at the 8:37 mark. Freshman Bethany Claps (Staten Island, N.Y.) started the spurt with a layup while sophomore Alyssa Barrett (Berlin, Conn.) contributed the next five points. MIT responded by tallying 10 unanswered points to even the score with just under five minutes left in the half.
A defensive battle ensued during the next three minutes until Drummond drained a layup which ended a six-minute scoring drought for the Pioneers. Junior Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif.) knotted the game at 30 on a driving layup with 30 seconds to go, but sophomore Paulina Solis (Santa Ana, Calif.) buried a three-pointer eight seconds before the buzzer sounded to give Smith a slight edge at halftime.
The Engineers tied the score at 33 on their first possession of the second half courtesy of a trey by Kordell; however, the Pioneers gradually generated a 14-5 run that resulted in a 47-38 lead at the 12:54 mark. Free throws by freshmen Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) and Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) along with a basket by junior Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) narrowed MIT's gap to five (47-42) midway through the frame. This was as close as it would get as Smith outscored the hosts, 16-5, down the stretch.
Sophomore Alexxis Isaac (San Antonio, Texas) posted eight points and three steals for the Engineers while Hao notched seven points and four rebounds. Drammis hauled in a game-high nine rebounds to go along with three steals while sophomore Michelle Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) chipped in six rebounds.
Solis totaled 11 points, six assists, and four steals as senior Devon Quattrocchi (Brewster, N.H.) registered 10 points and five steals. Junior Sydney Parkmond (Waterbury, Conn.) racked up eight points, five assists, four rebounds, and two steals while junior Marissa Munoz-Ruiz (Fairfield, Calif.) and sophomore Lauren Weston (Florence, Mass.) both collected five rebounds.
As a team, MIT had the upper hand in rebounding (46-31) but Smith held an 18-7 advantage in steals and registered 22 points off turnovers.
Both squads continue NEWMAC play on Thursday, January 10. MIT will host nationally-ranked No. 21 Babson College while Smith travels to Clark University.