November 20, 2013

Emerson Edges out Engineers, 74-69, in NEWMAC Opener

BOSTON, Mass. – Despite four players reaching double-digits in scoring it would not be enough as Emerson College defeated MIT, 74-69, in the NEWMAC women's basketball opener for both squads on Wednesday night. Sophomore Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) led the way for the Engineers (1-2, 0-1 NEWMAC) with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

Sophomore Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) tallied 10 points, six rebounds, and two steals while freshman Liana Ilutzi (East Hanover, N.J.) registered 16 points and three assists. Junior Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) posted 11 points and four assists as sophomore Durva Bhandare (North Brunswick, N.J.) dished out eight assists and tacked on two steals.

MIT established an 8-4 lead on a trio of Drammis baskets and a layup by Kordell, eventually going up 17-12 at the 14:23 mark on a layup from senior Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.). Emerson responded with 10 unanswered points in a four-minute span before the game became a back-and-forth affair. A Kordell basket put the Engineers in front, 33-32, with 3:09 on the clock; however three lead changes ensued until Ilutzi evened the score at 36 courtesy of two free throws at 2:14. The Lions countered by scoring six of the next seven points to gain some breathing room, but Ilutzi drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to narrow the gap to 42-40 at the intermission.

Coming out of the break, the hosts rattled off 10 straight points during the first four minutes of the frame. MIT slowly chipped away at the deficit as an Ilutzi basket put it ahead, 51-50, at the 11:28 mark. Emerson recorded a three-point play on its next possession, but Ilutzi drained another trey to give the Engineers a 54-53 edge midway through the half. Four lead changes would occur until the Lions went on a five-point spurt to secure a lead it would not relinquish.

The Cardinal and Gray continued to attack as Drammis's layup brought it within two (69-67) with one minute remaining in regulation. Emerson responded with a layup of its own; however, Ilutzi sank both of her free throws with 20 seconds left to keep MIT within striking distance. The Lions then closed out the game by converting three of its four free throw attempts during the final 11 seconds.

Next up for MIT will be its home opener on Saturday, Nov. 23 against NEWMAC foe Springfield College.