Women's Basketball

2017 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 | 10 NCAA Tournaments | 10 Conference Titles

Game Preview: Women's Basketball vs. MIT

Game Preview: Women's Basketball vs. MIT

Women's Basketball vs. MIT
Wednesday, February 14—7 p.m.
Staake Gymnasium—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and MIT will meet for the 63rd time Wednesday night in a series that dates back to the 1976-77 season. The Beavers hold a 51-11 all-time but have dropped two of their last three meetings at home against the Engineers.

First-year Nicole Hiller hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:14 remaining in overtime to help visiting defeat MIT, 50-46, on January 3 inside Rockwell Cage. Junior Payton Ouimette finished with 15 points and 19 rebounds, while classmate Katherine Tamulionis had eight points and six assists for the Beavers. Junior Taylor V'Dovec finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, and classmate Dolly Yuan had 14 points, seven boards and three assists for the Engineers.

The Engineers rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit and went 9-of-11 from the free throw line in the second overtime period on their way to defeating the Beavers, 78-74, on January 25, 2017, in Babson Park. Giovanna Pickering '17 finished with a then-career-high 31 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Jennifer Narlee '17 grabbed 18 rebounds for Babson. V'Dovec scored 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting to lead MIT.

MIT (14-8, 9-5 NEWMAC) scored 17 consecutive points to start the third quarter to pull away from Simmons, 72-35, on Saturday at home. First-year Kylie Gallagher led all players with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Jocelyn Luizzi came off the bench to add 18 points for the Engineers. V'Dovec (12.8 pts, 7.1 reb) ranks fifth in the NEWMAC in scoring, junior Kara Holinski (11.2 pts, 3.8 reb) is shooting 43.9 percent from three-point range, and Gallagher (10.9 pts, 6.7 reb) is fourth in the league pulling down 2.6 offensive boards per game. MIT is allowing just 51.8 points and forcing 17.1 turnovers on the year.

Babson (16-8, 12-3 NEWMAC) is looking to build momentum after picking up a 55-48 win at Springfield on Saturday. Junior Tea Spellacy scored 15 of her career-high 20 points in the first half and Ouimette collected her 16th double-double with 14 points and 10 points for the Beavers, who shot 64 percent in the first half. Ouimette (13.7 pts, 11.9 reb) is first in rebounding and third in the league in scoring, Spellacy (8.9 pts, 3.0 ast) leads the team with 32 steals, and Tamulionis (8.2 pts, 2.5 ast) has reached double figures in scoring five of the last nine games. The Green and White ranks first in the NEWMAC and 15th nationally with a +12.0 rebounding margin.

Prior to Wednesday's tip-off, Babson will honor its lone senior Brenna LeGacy. During her four-year career the Green and White has gone 81-29 with two NEWMAC regular season and tournament championships, and two NCAA Tournament appearances, which includes last year's run to the Sweet 16.

The Beavers, who enter the game tied in the loss column with Smith and WPI, can clinch at least a share of its third straight NEWMAC regular season title with a win over the Engineers. Winners of at least 12 league games in nine consecutive seasons, Babson has finished atop the conference standings in six of the last eight years going back to 2010.

Over its last eight league games, the Green and White has allowed just 48.0 points while holding its foes to just 11.8 percent (24-of-132) shooting from behind the three-point arc. Additionally, Babson has forced turnovers on 28.3 percent of its defensive possessions.

The Beavers are 9-1 this season when shooting better than 40 percent from the field.