Strong Free-Throw Shooting Propels Women’s Basketball Past Smith, 67-54

Dolly Yuan
Courtesy of Robert Krawitz

THE BASICS:

- Score: MIT 67, Smith College 54

- Records: MIT (9-3, 3-1 NEWMAC); Smith (8-4, 2-3 NEWMAC)

- Location: Northampton, Mass. (Ainsworth Gym)

- The Lead: A 24-of-28 performance at the free throw line, including a 12-of-14 showing during the last 2:34 of regulation, helped MIT defeat Smith College, 67-54, in NEWMAC women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon. Senior Dolly Yuan (San Jose, Calif.) led all players with 18 points, including an 8-of-8 outing at the charity stripe, while dishing out two assists for the Engineers.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- MIT jumped out to an 8-3 lead after a layup by senior Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.) but Smith battled back, tying the game twice, the second time on a layup late in the quarter to make the score 15-15.

- Senior Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) converted a three-point play 10 seconds into the second stanza, kicking off an 8-2 spurt during the next three minutes. The Pioneers replied with a 9-1 run, resulting in a 26-24 lead at the 2:34 mark. A three-pointer by first-year Christina Antonakakis (Holmdel, N.J.) put the Engineers back in front as a jumper from Holinski created some breathing room. Smith quickly drained a layup to come within one (29-28); however, Holinski knocked down another jumper to give MIT a small cushion at halftime.

- The Engineers' lead grew to 35-28 courtesy of two Yuan free throws and a layup by sophomore Kylie Gallagher (Upton, Mass.). The Pioneers narrowed the gap to two (35-33) with 5:53 on the clock, but MIT put together a 12-4 run that spanned almost five minutes. A jumper by the hosts with 51 seconds remaining brought them within 47-39 heading into the final frame.

- A layup by senior Sophie Gershon (New York, N.Y.) reestablished the visitors' double-digit lead after 1:21 elapsed and then two more Yuan free throws increased the score to 51-39 at the 6:08 mark. An exchange of baskets followed as a three-pointer by Smith trimmed the deficit to 55-47 with 2:53 left to play. Yuan was fouled during the Engineers' next possession, kicking off their game-ending 12-of-14 performance at the free throw line.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Holinski totaled 13 points, eight rebounds, two steals, and an assist while Gallagher finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Jocelyn Luizzi (Colchester, Conn.) posted 11 points and four boards as V'Dovec contributed six rebounds and three assists.

- MIT shot 20-of-48 from the floor, including 3-of-11 from three-point range, while Smith was 21-of-52 and 6-of-17 from behind the arc. The Engineers ended the day with advantages in rebounds (32-31), points off turnovers (11-3), second-chance points (11-3), and points in the paint (22-20).

UP NEXT:

- MIT continues NEWMAC action on the road when it visits Wheaton College on Tuesday, Jan. 8 for a 7:00 p.m. tip off.

STAY CONNECTED:

- For the latest on MIT Athletics, follow the Engineers via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.