Engineers Eclipse Wellesley, 54-48
Feb. 16, 2008
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A balanced scoring attack coupled with strong defense helped lead MIT to a 54-48 victory over NEWMAC foe Wellesley College on Saturday afternoon. Despite being out-rebounded 51-22 and outscored 36-6 in the paint, the Engineers forced 26 turnovers while allowing nine of their own en route to a 24-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
Both teams started cold, with MIT breaking the ice at the 17:06 mark when Mahjub sank a pair of free throws. The Engineers built a 9-0 advantage before a lay-up by Jessica Duff put the Blue on the board with 13:32 remaining in the half. Wellesley narrowed the gap to six (12-6), but MIT responded with a 10-6 run that featured two three-pointers from Alice Yeh. Aggressive offensive rebounding from Duff and Julia Thomas resulted in eight second-chance points during a 13-5 spurt that trimmed the lead to 29-25 at the break.
Each side traded buckets in the opening minutes of the second half before the Blue tallied seven unanswered points to take its first lead of the game at 34-33 with 15:25 remaining. Wellesley threatened to break away, edging out to a 39-35 margin on a three-point play from Duff. MIT quickly tied the score with a jumper from Sally Simpson and a lay-up by Mahjub.
The Blue inched ahead again, taking a 43-39 advantage with 9:31 left. The Engineers rallied, eventually going ahead (45-44) on a put-back by Mahjub with 4:56 on the clock. A minute later, she gave the Cardinal and Gray some breathing room by draining three consecutive free throws. Wellesley answered with Courtney Richter's short jumper that brought it within two (48-46). On the Engineers' ensuing possession, Clara Yuan hit a 12-footer with less than two minutes to play.
The four-point margin forced the Blue to foul during the final minute of the game. MIT stayed perfect at the line, as Simpson and Kimberly Soo Hoo went four-for-four down the stretch. Wellesley's Katie Martore capped the scoring by driving through the lane untouched with less than two seconds to go.
Mahjub paced the Engineers (12-11, 4-7 NEWMAC) with 13 points, seven rebounds, and five steals. Simpson, Yuan, and Yeh each chipped in 11 points as Simpson added five rebounds. Cheryl Kwinn bolstered MIT's rebound total with six, including a key grab off a missed three-pointer by Wellesley late in regulation.
For the Blue, Duff tallied 27 points while collecting 14 boards. Katie Frett added seven points while Thomas contributed eight caroms and six points.