MIT Defeats Springfield, 66-50, to Capture Second Straight NEWMAC Women’s Basketball Championship

MIT Defeats Springfield, 66-50, to Capture Second Straight NEWMAC Women’s Basketball Championship

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 4 MIT 66, No. 3 Springfield College 50

- Records: MIT (21-7); Springfield (18-10)

- Location: Springfield, Mass. (Blake Arena)

- The Lead: An 18-4 run during the second quarter gave No. 4 seeded MIT a lead it would not relinquish as it went on to defeat host and No. 3 seed Springfield College, 66-50, for its second straight NEWMAC Women's Basketball Championship on Saturday. Sophomore Jocelyn Luizzi (Colchester, Conn.) powered the Engineers with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds, both career highs, for her first career double-double. Senior Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.) was named the Tournament Most Outstanding Player for performance throughout the week.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- After conceding a basket on Springfield's opening possession, MIT went on a 9-3 run, as two free throws by senior Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) created a 9-5 lead at the 7:13 mark. The Pride used a free throw and a jumper to come within one, but the Engineers rattled off six straights points, capped by long jumper from first-year Christina Antonakakis (Colchester, Conn.) with just under three minutes remaining. Springfield ended its scoring drought on its next trip down the court with a jumper, making the score 15-10, which would hold for the remainder of the quarter.

-  The Pride opened the second stanza with six straight points, reclaiming the lead after 1:53 elapsed. Following an MIT timeout, Luizzi drained a three-pointer, sparking an 18-4 run that resulted in a 33-20 advantage with exactly one minute on the clock. Springfield ended its almost five-minute scoring drought with a three-pointer, however, Luizzi knocked down two free throws with eight ticks left, increasing her point total to 11 and giving the Engineers a 35-23 advantage at halftime.

-  Like the second quarter, the Pride came out of the break with a string of six unanswered points, cutting its deficit in half at the 6:49 mark. Luizzi buried a jumper on MIT's ensuing possession, setting off a 12-5 run to end the quarter that increased its lead to 47-34.

- The Engineers carried the momentum into the fourth quarter, using a 7-2 spurt to create their largest margin of the day at 16 (53-37) courtesy of senior Kristen Ngan's (Sudbury, Mass.) jumper with 7:34 on the clock. Springfield chipped away at the deficit, coming within 10 on two occasions, the last at 58-48 with 1:59 remaining. MIT capitalized on two free throws from senior Dolly Yuan (San Jose, Calif.), a Luizzi three-point play, and a Holinski free throw during next minute to secure the victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Holinski finished with 10 points five rebounds, and three assists while Yuan posted nine points. Ngan tallied six rebounds, five assists, four blocks, and three steals. Antonakakis chipped in eight points as senior Sophie Gershon (New York, N.Y.) grabbed six boards.

- MIT shot 46.2 percent (24-of-52) from the floor while Springfield was 17-of-64 (26.6 percent). The Engineers also knocked down eight three-pointers, compared to four by the Pride. MIT also led the way in rebounds (46-34), points in the paint (26-16), second-chance points (11-4), and bench scoring (35-15). Springfield, however, had the upper hand in points off turnovers (12-7).

UP NEXT:

- MIT will learn about the location and its opponent in the upcoming NCAA Tournament during the selection show on Monday, Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.

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