MIT Falls to Smith, 70-56, in the NEWMAC Women’s Basketball Championship

The women's basketball team in a huddle
Photo by Robert Krawitz

THE BASICS:

- Score: No. 3 Smith College 70, No. 4 MIT 56

- Records: MIT (15-12); Smith (24-4)

- Location: Northampton, Mass. (Ainsworth Gymnasium)

- The Lead: No. 3 seeded Smith College jumped out to an early lead and fought off several runs by No. 4 MIT to claim a 70-56 victory in the NEWMAC Women's Basketball Championship on Sunday afternoon. Junior Jocelyn Luizzi (Colchester, Conn.) powered the Engineers with 16 points while grabbing a game and career-high 15 rebounds.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Smith opened the game with eight unanswered points before creating a 21-4 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

- Despite the deficit MIT continued to attack, capitalizing on a jumper from senior Cindy Si (San Antonio, Texas) late in the frame and then a put-back by Luizzi right before time expired to make the score 34-20 at halftime.

- The Engineers continued to chip away in the third quarter, putting together an 11-1 run that brought them within 45-38 with 1:52 left in the frame. Junior Kylie Gallagher (Upton, Mass.) fueled the rally with six points. The Pioneers countered with a steal and fast-break layup to close out the quarter.

- Smith carried the momentum into the final frame as it increased its cushion to 53-39 at the 6:15 mark. Back-to-back three-point plays from sophomore Annika Sougstad (Mahtomedi, Minn.) and Luizzi in less than minute kept MIT within striking distance. However, the Pioneers responded with an 8-3 burst which resulted in a 61-48 advantage with 4:33 left to play and then they maintained their double-digit margin down the stretch.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Gallagher paced the Engineers with 17 points to go along with eight rebounds as Si posted 10 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Christina Antonakakis (Holmdel, N.J.) rounded out the squad with eight points and three assists.

- MIT had a 31-28 edge in rebounds but Smith ended the day with advantages in points off turnovers (22-3), points in the paint (44-22), second-chance points (8-7), fast -break scoring (22-5), and bench scoring (7-5).

- The Engineers shot 35.3 percent (18-of-51) from the floor, 31.3 percent (5-of-16) from three-point range, and 76.5 percent (13-of-17) at the free throw line.

- The Pioneers shot 47.5 percent (28-of-59) from the floor, 26.3 percent (5-of-19) from behind the arc, and 52.9 percent (9-of-17) at the charity stripe.

- MIT is now 2-1 all-time in the NEWMAC Championship. The Engineers won the league title in 2018 and 2019.

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