Battipaglia and Kordell Lead MIT Past Springfield, 55-34
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A pair of 18-point performances by sophomores Michelle Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) and Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) powered the MIT women's basketball team to a 55-34 victory over Springfield College in a NEWMAC game on Monday night. With the win, the Engineers improved to 10-12 on the year and 6-10 in conference play while recording their first series sweep of the Pride. Sophomore Jaimie Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn.) paced Springfield (3-19, 1-15 NEWMAC) with 14 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the free throw line while grabbing five rebounds.
A three-point play by Bickelhaupt evened the score at seven but a Kordell three-pointer followed by a layup from freshman Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) gave MIT some breathing room. Springfield stayed within striking distance courtesy of a layup and later on a free throw from Bickelhaupt which brought it within two (14-12) at the 13:11 mark. The Engineers recorded the next four points; however, the Pride once again narrowed the gap to two (18-16) on a put-back by junior Tamara Tribble (White Plains, N.Y.) with four minutes left in the half. Back-to-back Battipaglia jumpers reestablished the six-point cushion but Bickelhaupt's layup and freshman Alyssa Unikewicz's (Portland, Conn.) free throw cut the deficit in half (22-19) heading into the intermission.
MIT opened the second stanza with a 6-1 spurt that featured four points from Battipaglia. An exchange of baskets ensued as a jumper by sophomore Andrea Moschetta (Harrison, N.Y.) brought Springfield within six (30-24) with 15:37 left to play. This was as close as it would get as Kordell drained a pair of free throws and then a three-pointer on the Engineers' next possession to spark a game-ending 25-10 run.
In addition to her career-high scoring performance, Battipaglia tallied eight rebounds, six steals, and two blocks. Kordell dished out a career-best seven assists as freshman Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) posted eight points, four rebounds, and three steals. Senior Lauren Sascha Burton (Seattle, Wash.) recorded six rebounds, four steals, and three assists while sophomore Osheiza Otori (Metairie, La.) snagged four steals. Freshman Durva Bhandare (North Brunswick, N.J.) tacked on four points as sophomore Kirstyn Hein (Pinckney, Mich.) collected four rebounds.
Tribble finished with eight points while Moschetta notched five points and two steals. Senior Emily Walker (East Lyme, Conn.) hauled in a game-high nine rebounds as classmate Briana Freymuth (Bolton, Conn.) contributed two steals to the Pride's cause.
A season-high 18 steals helped MIT generate a 25-6 advantage in points off turnovers. The Engineers also had an 11-3 margin in bench scoring but Springfield produced a 20-14 edge in points in the paint.
Both squads continue NEWMAC action at home on Wednesday, Feb. 13. MIT will host Wheaton College while Springfield will take on Mount Holyoke College.