CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) tallied a game-high 22 points but it would not be enough for the MIT women's basketball team as it fell to NEWMAC foe Mount Holyoke College, 58-46, on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Engineers' ledger lowered to 9-11 on the year and 5-9 in conference play.
Coming off the bench, freshman Michelle Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) compiled 11 points, five steals, four rebounds, two blocks, and two assists. Junior Lauren Sascha Burton (Seattle, Wash.) grabbed nine boards to go along with four points and two assists while classmate Anna Merrifield (Honolulu, Hawaii) registered five rebounds. Sophomore Margo Batie (Los Angeles, Calif.) rounded out the squad with four points, four rebounds, and one steal.
Mount Holyoke quickly established a 10-2 lead, but MIT closed the gap to three (12-9) courtesy of seven points from Kordell. The Lyons brought their advantage back up to eight in a two-minute span; however, the Engineers chipped away at the deficit and came within one (18-17) following a basket by junior Rebecca Odim (Brooklyn, N.Y.), two Kordell free throws, and a three-pointer from sophomore Sharon Hao (San Jose, Calif.).
Mount Holyoke buried a trey of its own on its next possession, but Kordell's three-point play kept the visitors in the hunt with 3:24 to go. The Lyons then scored six straight points to gain some breathing room before Batie's layup made the score 27-22 at the intermission.
The Cardinal and Gray opened the second half with a 6-2 spurt which narrowed the gap to one on two occasions, the last on Battipaglia's jumper at the 16:39 mark. The Lyons replied with nine unanswered points during the next four minutes to regain control of the game. MIT put together a 10-5 run that cut its deficit to 43-38 with 7:10 left to play. Mount Holyoke drained a three-pointer on its next possession, but the game would remain scoreless until the hosts hit a free throw with 2:52 remaining.
Burton's put-back ended the Engineers' scoring drought and brought them within seven (47-40). A three-point play by the Lyons at 1:39 thwarted MIT's attempt at generating a late rally as Mount Holyoke converted eight of its 10 attempts from the charity stripe. Kordell, meanwhile, provided the last six points for the Engineers.
Next up for MIT will be a home game with nationally-ranked No. 18 Babson College on Wednesday, Feb. 8.