Engineers Grind Out 47-43 Win Over Emerson

Sophomore Maya Ramachandran
Sophomore Maya Ramachandran

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Sophomore Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) led all players with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks in MIT's 47-43 victory over Emerson College in a NEWMAC women's basketball game on Sunday. The Lions (5-10, 2-9 NEWMAC) were paced by junior Catherine Cloutier (Methuen, Mass.), who had 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

A basket by sophomore Janissa Delzo (Middlesex, N.J.) sparked a 12-2 run that gave Emerson a 17-9 lead midway through the opening frame. MIT (7-9, 4-7 NEWMAC) slowly chipped away at the deficit as a three-pointer from freshman Liana Ilutzi (East Hanover, N.J.) put it in front, 20-19, with 6:03 on the clock. A Cloutier free throw evened the score as a jumper by junior Kristin Brice (Indiana, Pa.) returned the lead back to the Lions. The Engineers responded with two layups from Ramachandran and a pair of free throws by senior Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) to claim a 26-22 edge with 1:09 left in the half. Emerson then cut its deficit in half courtesy of two free throws from senior Elissa Chojnicki (Dover, N.H.) 37 seconds before the intermission.

The Lions tied the game at 28 after 1:45 elapsed in the second half; however, sophomore Durva Bhandare (North Brunswick, N.J.) knocked down a trifecta that ignited an 11-2 run which resulted in a 39-30 advantage for MIT at the 11:52 mark. Freshman Emily Cameron (Culver City, Calif.) ended Emerson's scoring drought with a three-pointer but the Engineers put together an 8-3 spurt for their largest margin of the day (47-36) with just under seven minutes remaining.

The Lions responded with seven unanswered points, starting with a trey from freshman Elizabeth Horan (Ashland, Mass.) with 5:31 on the clock, followed by layups courtesy of sophomore Sienna O'Han (Red Hook, N.Y.) at 2:52 and 1:15. With 49 seconds to go, Johnson grabbed a defensive rebound that set up a three-point bid by Horan. Her shot was off the mark but was corralled by O'Han; however, her jumper fell short and was collected by Drammis with 20 seconds left. Following a pair of fouls, a turnover gave the ball back to the visitors with 10 ticks remaining. Horan put up the final shot for the Lions but she could not connect as the resulting rebound was grabbed by Ramachandran as time expired.

Despite being unable to score down the stretch, MIT's defense produced seven rebounds and two blocks to hold off the Lions. Hunt posted 10 points for the Engineers while Drammis tallied eight points, eight boards, and five steals. Bhandare totaled six assists, five points, and four rebounds as Ilutzi notched six rebounds and five points. Junior Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) hauled in five boards as classmate Osheiza Otori (Metairie, La.) earned two blocks.

O'Han and Horan both finished with six points for Emerson while Johnson collected seven rebounds. Brice registered nine boards and five points as Delzo rounded out the squad with two assists and two steals.

Both squads return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 22. MIT will visit NEWMAC foe Springfield College while Emerson will travel to Mount Ida College for a non-conference match-up.