Late Rally Falls Short as Babson Holds on to Defeat MIT, 55-53

Christina Antonakakis
Courtesy of DSPics.com

THE BASICS:

- Score: Babson College 55, MIT 53

- Records: MIT (13-5, 7-3 NEWMAC); Babson (15-2, 9-1 NEWMAC)

- Location: Babson Park, Mass. (Staake Gymnasium)

- The Lead: After trailing by 17 points late in the third quarter, the MIT women's basketball team narrowed the gap to two with 41 seconds remaining in regulation, but it could not overcome the deficit as Babson College held on for a 55-53 victory in NEWMAC action on Wednesday night. First-year Christina Antonakakis (Holmdel, N.J.) paced the Engineers with 15 points, with 12 coming during their fourth-quarter rally.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- A three-pointer by senior Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) gave MIT a 7-6 edge, but Babson replied with a 16-2 run during the next 5:16. A layup by sophomore Jocelyn Luizzi (Colchester, Conn.) right before time expired made the score 22-11 heading into the second quarter.

- Following an exchange of baskets, the Beavers used an 8-3 spurt to increase their lead to 31-18 with 3:17 on the clock. A defensive battle ensued until a layup from sophomore Kylie Gallagher (Upton, Mass.) capped the first-half scoring with 41 seconds remaining.

- Babson gradually built a 45-28 advantage, its largest, with 1:32 left in the third quarter. The Engineers countered with a Gallagher layup and treys by Antonakakis and senior Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.) to close out the frame.

- After several unsuccessful possessions by both squads, Antonakakis knocked down a three-pointer and a layup, trimming the deficit to 45-41 at the 7:20 mark. The Beavers ended their scoring drought 40 seconds later, but Antonakakis buried another jumper. Babson then rattled off six straight points to create a 53-43 cushion with 4:27 remaining.

- MIT battled back, closing the gap to 55-53 courtesy of Gallagher's layup with 41 seconds to go. She then blocked a layup by the Beavers, however, the hosts intercepted the Engineers' in-bounds pass following an MIT timeout. Fouls sent Babson to the free throw line where it missed both shots with eight seconds remaining in regulation. The visitors came up with rebound and were fouled with four ticks left. Once action resumed, Antonakakis drove along the baseline and found Gallagher in the lane but her shot was too strong as it bounced off the front end of the rim as time expired.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Gallagher recorded her second double-double of the season by posting 14 points and 11 rebounds to go along with two blocks. V'Dovec totaled eight points, five rebounds, and two steals while Holinski finished with eight points, seven boards, and four assists.

- MIT shot 40.7 percent (22-54) from the floor, was 7-of-19 from three-point range, and converted two of its four free-throw attempts.

- Babson shot 33.3 percent (20-of-60) from the floor, was 5-of-12 from behind the arc, and went 10-of-15 at the charity stripe.

- The Beavers ended the night with advantages in rebounds (38-32) and points off turnovers (21-17) while the Engineers led the way in points in the paint (24-20) and bench scoring (19-8). Both teams produced four second-chance points.

- The last five meetings between MIT and Babson have gone down to the wire as the average margin of victory has been 3.6 points. In addition, the Engineers defeated the Beavers in double overtime during the 2016-17 season, but Babson emerged with an overtime victory last season.

UP NEXT:

- MIT will continue its road trip on Saturday, Jan. 26 when it visits NEWMAC rival WPI for a 2:00 p.m. tip off.

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