CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Despite a quick start by MIT, Wellesley College went on to record a 46-27 victory in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball game on Friday night. Lauren Sascha Burton tallied 10 rebounds, nine points, four steals, and two assists for the Engineers (4-5, 1-3 NEWMAC). Malia Maier posted a game-high 16 points to go along with eight boards, three assists, three steals, and a block for the Blue (7-1, 4-0 NEWMAC), which extended its winning streak to five games.
MIT jumped out to a 9-2 advantage after four minutes expired and later saw its margin move to 13-5 with 12:07 on the clock. Wellesley battled back, tying the game at 14 on a layup from Leslie Leong at the 6:46 mark. Following nearly four minutes of scoreless play, Maier gave the Blue the lead for good courtesy of a pair of free throws. The defensive battle continued, resulting in Wellesley maintaining the slim 16-14 edge into the intermission.
The Blue gained some breathing room by notching eight straight points during the first four minutes of the second stanza. A basket by Rebecca Odim ended the Engineers' scoring drought and narrowed the gap to eight (24-16) with 15:01 left to play. Wellesley responded with a 20-3 run that put the game out of reach and gave the visitors their largest margin of the night at 25 points (44-19). MIT put together an 8-2 spurt during the final seven minutes of action to set up the final score.
Rachel Hunt grabbed nine rebounds and registered seven blocks, falling three shy of breaking the MIT record. Anna Merrifield added eight points while Stephanie Cooke grabbed five rebounds. Tamara Pena rounded out the Engineers with a team-high three assists.
Ashleigh Sargent totaled eight points, eight rebounds with five coming off the offensive glass, and two steals for the Blue. Becca Kimball registered 11 points and eight boards while Leong finished with five caroms and three assists. Coming off the bench, Katie Shulenberger contributed five rebounds and two steals. As a team, Wellesley led the way in points in the paint (24-10), points off turnovers (23-0), and second-chance points (11-2).
Both squads will return to action following the holiday break. MIT will host Wheelock College on Monday, January 3 while Wellesley will begin play in the Bowdoin College Classic the previous day.