Balanced Performance Helps MIT Defeat Smith, 83-70

Senior Liana Ilutzi
Senior Liana Ilutzi

THE BASICS:

- Score: MIT 83, Smith College 70

- Records: MIT (17-4; 10-2 NEWMAC); Smith (14-7; 6-6 NEWMAC)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

- The Lead: MIT outscored Smith College, 20-8, in the fourth quarter to help it pull away for an 83-70 win in Saturday's NEWMAC women's basketball game. All five starters for the Engineers reached double-digits in scoring, led by sophomore Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) who had 22 points and a game-high nine rebounds. For the Pioneers, Kennedy Guest-Pritchett registered a game-high 23 points and grabbed six rebounds.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- MIT built an 18-9 advantage during the first nine minutes of the game but Smith quickly closed the gap to 19-16 courtesy of a layup by Lauren Bondi at the buzzer.

- The second quarter featured a series of runs that moved the score to 34-26 after senior Liana Ilutzi's (East Hanover, N.J.) three-pointer at the 2:43 mark. The Pioneers replied with nine unanswered points, going ahead on a layup by Erin Hanley with 52 seconds left. Baskets by junior Lindsay Westlake (Brookline, Mass.) and sophomore Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.) helped MIT go back in front, 38-35, at the intermission.

- The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair as there were eight lead changes and three ties. A pair of layups from Emma Seymour gave Smith a 62-59 edge with 1:39 on the clock. However, sophomores Kristen Ngan (Sudbury, Mass.) and Dolly Yuan (San Jose, Calif.) both connected on their free throws during the last 47 seconds to put the Engineers ahead for good.

- In the fourth quarter MIT put together an 18-1 run that helped it pull away for the win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Holinski finished with 19 points while Yuan registered 16 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Illutzi tallied 11 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals as Ngan rounded out the squad with 12 points.

- Hanley produced 22 points and seven rebounds while Samantha Alakai dished out a team-high four assists for Smith.

- The Pioneers had the upper hand in field goal percentage as they shot 49.2 percent (29-59) compared to the Engineers' total of 47 percent (31-66). The visitors also led the way in points in the paint with a 44-28 margin. MIT, meanwhile, generated advantages in rebounds (37-30), points off turnovers (17-4), and second-chance points (16-9).

UP NEXT:

- Both squads are back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 8 with 7:00 p.m. home match-ups against NEWMAC foes. MIT will host Clark University while Smith will take on Wellesley College.

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