SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Jan. 15, 2011) – Using a balanced scoring attack and stifling defense, the MIT women's basketball team picked up a 42-34 victory over NEWMAC foe Mount Holyoke College this afternoon at the Mildred S. Howard Gymnasium. The Engineers outscored the Lyons 23-4 over a span of 13 minutes in the middle of the game and never looked back.
Mount Holyoke was led by senior guard Emilie Methot, who tallied nine points and four rebounds. Junior forward Tricia Chase posted seven points and three boards, while classmate Bree Hollinger added six points and four rebounds off the bench. The Lyons shot just 27.3% (12-44) from the floor and were forced into 26 turnovers (16 first half).
Leading the way for MIT was sophomore forward Anna Merrifield, who delivered 11 points and eight rebounds. Classmate Lauren Sascha Burton joined her in double digits with 10 points while also pulling down six boards. Meanwhile, first year center Rachel Hunt dominated the paint, collecting eight points, six rebounds and six blocked shots. The Engineers finished with a 36-33 advantage on the glass.
After falling behind 15-9 in the early going, MIT reeled off nine straight points to gain control of the contest. A three-pointer by first year guard Tamara Pena gave the Engineers a 16-15 advantage at the 5:14 mark. They scored the final seven points of the half to take a 25-17 edge into the locker room. Sascha Burton led all scorers with 10 points at the break. Chase and Pascual had five apiece for Mount Holyoke.
MIT's lead ballooned the 32-19 following a three-pointer by Merrifield at the 14:19 mark of the second stanza. The Engineers enjoyed a 38-26 cushion with just over four minutes remaining in regulation, but Mount Holyoke rallied for eight straight points to make things interesting. Methot drained four free throws during the spurt, which sliced the deficit to 38-34 with 43 seconds to go. From there, MIT went 4of-4 from the charity stripe to ice things.
Both squads will resume their NEWMAC schedules on Wednesday. Mount Holyoke (2-11, 1-7 NEWMAC) will visit the Coast Guard Academy at 5:30 p.m., while MIT (6-8, 2-6 NEWMAC) will travel to WPI for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off.