Offense Slows Down In 65-51 Loss At MIT

Aretha Sullivan finished with a team-best 20 points in Wednesday's 65-51 loss at MIT.
Aretha Sullivan finished with a team-best 20 points in Wednesday's 65-51 loss at MIT.

Cambridge, Mass. – Surging MIT outscored Clark University, 37-24 in the second half offsetting a hot-shooting night from Aretha Sullivan (Worcester, Mass.) and the Engineers pushed past the Cougars, 65-51 in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Wednesday evening.

The win for MIT is their third in a row and eighth in their last nine games as they continue their climb towards the top of the league standings. The Scarlet and White, meanwhile, have now dropped four straight with two league contests remaining and three games overall.

Game Information
MIT 65, Clark University 51
Records: MIT (18-4; 11-2 NEWMAC); Clark (12-10; 5-9 NEWMAC)
Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Rockwell Cage)

How It Happened:
MIT raced out to an 11-2 lead during the first five minutes of the game but Clark responded with eight straight points to come within one after a Sullivan jumper. The Engineers created some breathing room courtesy of a 7-2 spurt, however, the Cougars narrowed the gap to 18-14 inside the final minute of the first period on a basket by Sam O'Gara (Worcester, Mass.).

Clark stayed within striking distance for most of the second quarter until a jumper from Haley Wilder (Rindge, N.H.) gave them a 26-25 lead with 46 seconds left. A three-pointer by Dolly Yuan (San Jose, Calif.) put MIT back in front but a free throw from O'Gara moved the score to 28-27 at halftime.

A layup by Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) and a trey from Kara Holinski helped the hosts establish a small cushion which they maintained during the early stages of the third quarter. Layups from Sullivan and Rachael Chen (Needham, Mass.) once again brought Clark within one (38-37) midway through the third quarter, but the Engineers countered with a 10-3 run to close out the frame.

Cindy Si's layup reestablished MIT's double-digit lead and set off an exchange of baskets that moved the score to 56-45 with 4:38 left. Despite the deficit the Cougars continued to attack as back-to-back Sullivan layups in addition to two free throws from Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) narrowed the gap to five (56-51) with 2:31 remaining. That would be as close as the Scarlet and White would get, however, as the Engineers registered nine straight points, including a 5-of-6 performance at the charity stripe, to finish off the game.

Inside The Numbers:
The Engineers shot 52.3 percent (23-44) and were 75 percent (12-16) at the free throw line while the Cougars were 36.5 percent (22-62) from the floor and 50 percent (7-14) from the charity stripe. MIT also had the upper hand in bench scoring (11-3) but Clark ended the night with advantages in rebounds (38-27), second-chance points (17-7), and points in the paint (30-26).

For The Foes:
Holinski ended with a game-high 21 points, while V'Dovec finished with 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor and tacked on six rebounds and three blocks.

Clark Stars:
Sullivan paced Clark with 20 points on 10-for-18 shooting to go along with five rebounds. O'Gara tallied ten points, four rebounds, and two assists as Wilder chipped in eight points and two steals.

Up Next:
Both squads are back in action on Saturday, Feb. 11 with 1:00 p.m. home match-ups against NEWMAC foes. MIT will host Mount Holyoke College while Clark will take on Emerson College on Senior Day.

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