CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A reverse layup by sophomore Durva Bhandare (North Brunswick, N.J.) helped MIT clinch a 53-50 victory over Framingham State University in a non-conference women's basketball game on Tuesday night. The Rams generated four shots during the final 28 seconds but a put-back by junior Samantha Irvine (Franklin, Mass.) came right after the buzzer sounded.
Sophomore Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head Island, S.C.) paced the Engineers (5-3) with 17 points and 10 rebounds as Bhandare totaled 10 points and three assists. Sophomore Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif.) posted six points, six rebounds, and three blocks while senior Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill.) registered six points and six boards. Junior Michelle Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) tallied five rebounds, four assists, and two steals as classmate Osheiza Otori (Metairie, La.) produced six points and four steals. Junior Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md.) recorded eight assists and two steals while freshman Liana Ilutzi (East Hanover, N.J.) rounded out the squad with six points.
Junior Katelyn Iafolla (Franklin, Mass.) generated a game-high 20 points as she drained all 10 of her free-throw attempts and added six rebounds for Framingham State (5-4). Senior Kristen Hoffman (Foxboro, Mass.) compiled 11 rebounds, eight points, two assists, two steals, and a block while Irvine had eight boards, seven points, and two steals. Freshman Monta Connolly (Lynn, Mass.) added eight rebounds to the Rams' cause.
Drammis and Ramachandran collaborated for MIT's first eight points as it maintained a comfortable cushion that grew to 11 (21-10) at the 6:18 mark. Framingham State slowly chipped away at the deficit as a Connolly layup evened the score at 27 with 52 seconds to go. Iafolla accounted for seven points during the 17-6 run while junior Nicole Bostic (Easton, Mass.) chipped in four of her own. The Engineers gained some breathing room on their next possession courtesy of Hunt's layup as Battipaglia buried a jumper with 11 ticks left to give the hosts a 31-27 edge at the intermission.
The Cardinal and Gray gradually reestablished its 11-point margin in the second stanza as a Drammis basket put MIT up, 43-32, with 10:21 on the clock. The Rams responded with 10 unanswered points as five came from Iafolla while Hoffman capped the spurt with a three-pointer. Trifectas by Ilutzi and Bhandare were countered by four free throws from Iafolla as Irvine's basket narrowed the gap to 49-48 with 4:02 to go. Hunt increased the Engineers' lead with a layup just over a minute later; however, the Rams came within one on two Hoffman free throws with 1:02 left to play. On MIT's next trip down the court Bhandare converted her reverse layup in traffic, setting up Framingham State's final possession.
The Rams were a force to be reckoned with at the charity stripe as they went 20-of-22 on the night while taking a slight edge in rebounds (44-39) and second-chance points (11-8). The Engineers had the upper hand in points in the paint (26-16) and points off turnovers (16-8).
MIT returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 29 when it hosts Endicott College while Framingham State will wrap-up play on Saturday, Dec. 14 at Saint Joseph's College of Maine.