MIT Extends Streak to Six With 66-54 Win Over Wesleyan

Freshman Kristen Ngan
Freshman Kristen Ngan

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - The MIT women's basketball team earned a 66-54 win over Wesleyan University in non-conference action on Tuesday evening inside Silloway Gymnasium. The victory pushed the Engineers' win streak to six games and record to 12-4 overall, while the Cardinals fell to 7-8 this season.

MIT freshman Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.) finished with a game-high 19 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field, 1-for-2 from behind the arc and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. Tonight marked the 14th game of the season in which Holinski scored double-digit points for the Engineers. 

Senior Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) and freshman Kristen Ngan (Sudbury, Mass.) also scored in double-figures with 14 and 10 points, respectively, while senior Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head, S.C.) pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds and added nine points of her own in the win.

Wesleyan was paced by senior Kaylie Williams (Danville, Calif.) and freshman Olivia Gorman (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.), who both registered ten points apiece for the Cardinals offensive efforts.

Wesleyan got out to a quick 5-0 lead after a deep three pointer by junior Danielle Gervacio (Ossining, N.Y.) and a layup by Williams just 1:47 into the contest, but Ramachandran put MIT on the board with a layup of her own which made the score 5-2 at the 6:42 mark of the opening stanza.

Ramachandran gave the Engineers the lead for good, 10-9, on a layup with 3:09 to play in the first quarter. MIT went on to outscore Wesleyan by a 11-4 differential to hold the lead, 21-13, after one. The spurt was sparked by six points from Holinski, three via freshman Dolly Yuan (San Jose, Calif.) and two from Ramachandran.

Both teams traded baskets over the opening minutes of the second quarter, but with 4:07 to play before the break, Wesleyan cut the deficit to seven (29-22) after a junior Lauren Gaj (Pawtucket, R.I.) layup. The Engineers went on a 9-3 run to end the half as Ngan kicked it off with a deep three-pointer in response to Gaj's bucket. Over the run, freshman Sophie Gershon (New York, N.Y.), Holinski and Ramachandran all added a pair of points to end the stanza up, 38-25.

The third quarter was the only one of the evening in which Wesleyan outscored MIT, 14-11. Leading 44-29 with 5:02 remaining on the third quarter clock, the Cardinals once again cut the margin to single digits at 44-35 with four points by Williams and a pair by sophomore Maddie Bledsoe (Newton, Mass.). Once again, the Engineers answered as they held a 10-point lead after three as Drammis, Holinski and junior Liana Ilutzi (East Hanover, N.J.) all chipped in with two points apiece before the buzzer sounded. 

Leading 60-51 with a little over two minutes to play, Wesleyan made it a free throw game for the remainder of the contest. MIT went 6-for-8 over the stretch compared to 3-for-4 for the Cardinals as the Engineers secured the win 66-54 on the road. 

MIT shot 45 percent (27-for-60) from the floor, 22.2 percent (2-for-9) from long range and 71.4 percent (10-for-14) from the charity stripe, while Wesleyan shot 38.7 percent (24-for-62) from the field, 9.1 percent (2-for-22) from beyond the arc and 44.4 percent (4-for-9) from the free throw line. MIT outrebounded Wesleyan by a slim 38-36 margin, while the Cardinals held a 26-11 differential in points from the bench.

MIT continues its quick two-game road swing with a trip to New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Smith College on Saturday, January 23 at 2:00 p.m., while Wesleyan travels to No. 10 Tufts University for a NESCAC matchup on Friday, January 22 at 7:00 p.m.