NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – MIT held leads early in the second half, but Smith College edged back ahead midway through the final 20 minutes and went on to take a 65-54 decision in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball game this afternoon. Sophomore Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head, S.C.) led the Engineers with 16 points and nine rebounds.
With the game tied at 4-4 after the first four minutes of play, a three-pointer from Rosa Drummond and a jumper by Jade Chihara gave Smith (12-10, 12-5 NEWMAC) a 9-4 edge. MIT (9-12, 6-10 NEWMAC) did not let the Pioneers get any further ahead, coming back with a basket from junior Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) and a three-point play by junior Michelle Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) to tie things up at the 13:35 mark.
Another jumper from Battipaglia completed a 7-0 run that put the Engineers on top for the first time at 11-9, but Smith came back with four straight and regained the lead on a layup by Jazmine Collins with 9:19 to go. A layup by senior Tamara Pena (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) knotted things back up again, but Smith came back with five straight points to take an 18-13 lead on a Collins free throw.
MIT came right back, with the first basket of the game by Drammis starting the Engineers on a 6-0 streak that had them up 19-18 on a pair of Kordell free throws with 5:47 to play in the half. Smith then put together a 7-0 spurt, with back-to-back jump shots by Laruen Weston putting the Pioneers up 25-19. Sophomore Maya Ramachandran (Freemont, Calif.) ended the Smith run with a layup with three minutes left and the Engineers closed to within a point at the half on baskets by Drammis and senior Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) that made it 28-27.
Smith scored the first four points of the second half to up its lead to five, but MIT came back with six straight to take a 33-32 lead on a layup from junior Osheiza Otori (Metairie, La.). The lead changed hands four times over the next two minutes, with the Engineers again taking a one-point lead on a Drammis jumper at the 14:29 mark.
MIT missed its next four shots from the field, however, and Smith took advantage of the drought to score seven straight to take a 43-37 lead on a pair of free throws by Collins. Kordell ended the MIT scoring drought with a bucket with 10:38 left, but Smith eventually pulled out to a 51-41 advantage with 7:48 to play a jump shot by Paulina Solis. The Engineers could not put a run together against the Pioneers and still trailed by 10 with 2:09 left after a pair of free throws from Kordell. From there the Engineers were held to just a Drammis jumper in the final minute as Smith went on to claim the victory.
Kordell finished with 13 points for MIT, with Ramachandran also reaching double figures by hitting 5-of-10 shots for 10 points. The Engineers held a slight edge in shooting percentage, hitting on 42.3 percent of their shots compared to Smith hitting at a 40.7 percent clip. The Pioneers had four players in double figures, with Lauren Weston leading the team with 12 points and seven rebounds. Solis and Collins finished with 11 each, while Drummond added 10 points.
MIT will be back in action on Wednesday night when the Engineers host Wheaton College at 8:00 p.m. Smith will also play on Wednesday, taking on Springfield College in Springfield at 5:30 p.m.