Women's Basketball Cruises Past Wellesley, 55-35

Junior Mari Kordell
Junior Mari Kordell

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The MIT women's basketball team rattled off 13 straight points right out of the gate and held visiting Wellesley College off the scoreboard for the first 10:31 of the game en route to a 55-35 NEWMAC victory on Thursday night. Sophomore Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) led all scorers with 16 points and added eight rebounds and four steals for the Engineers (9-11, 6-9 NEWMAC). The Blue (14-5, 11-4 NEWMAC), which entered the game tied for first place in the league standings, were paced by senior Leslie Leong's (Sacramento, Calif.) 11 points to go along with five boards, two assists, and two steals.

Drammis registered six points during the opening run that spanned almost seven and a half minutes. A defensive battle ensued until freshman Ailis Hanley (Cranston, R.I.) ended the stalemate as her basket put Wellesley on the board at the 9:29 mark. A three-pointer by freshman Liana Ilutzi (East Hanover, N.J.) sparked a 7-2 spurt for MIT that created its largest lead of the frame at 20-4. Junior Morgyne Weaver's (Oklahoma City, Okla.) jumper with 4:21 left ended another scoring drought for the Blue and resulted in both sides trading baskets down the stretch. Fouled as time expired, Leong converted the second of her two free-throw attempts to make the score 26-11 at the intermission.

With a foul-plagued start to the second half, senior Katie Shulenberger (Ashland, Ore.) and Weaver both went 2-for-2 at the charity stripe helping Wellesley trim its deficit to 14 (29-15) after 2:13 elapsed. The Engineers responded with an 11-2 run which pushed its advantage to 40-17 at the 13:49 mark. A layup by Shulenberger stopped a three-minute scoreless stretch while Leong followed with two more free throws. Drammis sank a layup on MIT's ensuing possession before the game became a back-and-forth affair all the way to the final buzzer.

Junior Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) tallied 12 points, five assists, and three steals for the Engineers while senior Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) registered seven points, six boards, and five blocks. Sophomore Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) hauled in a game-high nine rebounds as Ilutzi and senior Tamara Pena (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) both grabbed two steals.

Weaver posted a team-high eight rebounds for the Blue in addition to six points and two steals. Shulenberger finished with eight points and four boards while Hanley totaled six points, four rebounds, and two blocks.

Both squads hit the road for the next games against NEWMAC foes on Saturday, Feb. 8. MIT will visit Smith College while Wellesley will travel to Springfield College.