CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) became the third player in the history of the MIT women's basketball program to be voted Rookie of the Year by the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). In addition, she collected second team all-conference accolades while the Engineers received the Sportsmanship Award for the fifth time in six years.
Kordell ranked in the top 15 in the NEWMAC in six major categories (points per game, three-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage, assists, steals, and minutes played), which is more than any other rookie in the league. She paced the team in points (10.7), assists (2.3), steals (1.8), three-point field goal percentage (.317), free throw percentage (.795), and minutes played (32.5). Kordell was MIT's leading scorer in 11 of its 24 games and had 20-point efforts against Simmons College and Mount Holyoke College.
Kordell also turned in some memorable performances in victories over Albany College, WPI, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Simmons, Wheaton College, and Springfield College. On November 20 versus Albany, she was sent to the charity stripe on three straight possessions where she hit five consecutive free throws that thwarted a late rally by the Panthers and propelled MIT to a 65-49 win. Against WPI on December 3, Kordell buried a jumper with 10 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Engineers a two-point edge that would lead to a 61-57 decision. Three days later in an overtime battle at Coast Guard, she connected on a three-pointer just 48 seconds into the extra session and later nailed a jumper with 47 seconds left to play, giving MIT a four-point cushion that would turn into a 73-67 victory.
The late-game heroics continued on December 30 versus Simmons as Kordell went 3-of-4 from the free throw line during the final 16.4 seconds, including two successful attempts with two seconds on the clock, securing the Engineers' 69-65 come-from-behind win. A few weeks later against Wheaton, she knocked down a trey right after coming off the bench to give MIT a four-point margin with three minutes left to play. The Engineers fought off the Lyons down the stretch as two Kordell free throws with 10 seconds to go sealed the 45-41 victory. On February 11 at Springfield, MIT found itself trailing, 49-45, with 21 seconds left to play. Kordell sank a layup six seconds later and after a free throw by the Pride, she drove the length of the court for another lay-in with eight ticks left. The Engineers stole the in-bounds pass and then drained two free throws with no time remaining to capture the 51-50 win.