No. 4 MIT Overpowers No. 1 Babson, 73-46, to Advance to NEWMAC Women’s Basketball Championship

Kristen Ngan
Photo by Robert Krawitz

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 4 MIT 73, No. 1 Babson College 46

- Records: MIT (20-7); Babson (21-5)

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

- The Lead: No. 4 seeded MIT knocked down 12 three-pointers, generated 28 points off of 27 Babson College turnovers, and limited the top-seeded Beavers to a 29.4 shooting performance as the Engineers recorded a 73-46 victory in the semifinals of the NEWMAC Women's Basketball Tournament on Thursday night. One of four players to reach double-digits in scoring, senior Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) paced MIT with 14 points in 22 minutes of action. Payton Ouimette led Babson with 14 points while grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Back-to-back three-pointers by senior Kristen Ngan (Sudbury, Mass.) sparked an 11-2 run that resulted in a 16-6 MIT lead with 3:25 left in the first quarter. The Beavers countered with eight unanswered points, capped by a trey from Jacqueline Jozefick with 34 seconds to go. The Engineers responded with a jumper in the lane by first-year Christina Antonakakis (Holmdel, N.J.) with five seconds remaining, giving the visitors an 18-14 edge at the end of the frame.

- MIT carried the momentum into the second stanza as it outscored Babson, 22-8, en route to a 40-22 advantage at halftime.

-  The Beavers opened the third quarter with a 6-1 spurt, however, a layup by sophomore Jocelyn Luizzi (Colchester, Conn.) in transition ignited a 16-2 run, creating a 57-30 lead with 1:08 on the clock. Babson capped the scoring with a Ouimette layup and two free throws by Tea Spellacy during the final 45 seconds.

- MIT kicked off the final frame with a 13-5 run as a Luizzi three-pointer created the Engineers' largest advantage (70-39) at the 6:15 mark. Babson went on to outscore MIT, 7-3, to close out the game. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Ngan finished with 12 points, all coming from behind the arc, while posting six assists and two blocks.

- Senior Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.) totaled 11 points, six assists, and three steals. She also broke the Institute record for three-pointers in a season, eclipsing the mark of 60 she set during the 2017 season.

- Senior Dolly Yuan (San Jose, Calif.) registered 10 points and four steals while Luizzi and senior Sophie Gershon (New York, N.Y.) both produced nine points and five rebounds.

- Spellacy notched 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists as Emily Bonifacic totaled nine points, eight boards, and three steals. Jozefick rounded out Babson with eight points coming off the bench.

- MIT shot 44.3 percent from the floor (27-51) and 44.4 percent from three-point range (12-of-27). The Engineers ended the night with advantages in points in the paint (24-22), points off turnovers (28-7), second-chance points (14-13), and bench scoring (22-9).

- The Beavers had the upper hand in rebounds, finishing with a 40-30 margin.

- The victory marks MIT's third 20-win season in program history. It is also the first time in six postseason meetings the Engineers defeated Babson.

UP NEXT:

- MIT will travel to No. 3 Springfield College for the NEWMAC Championship on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1:00 p.m. This will be the second year in a row and second time in program history the Engineers will appear in the title game.

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