MIT Knocks Off Women’s Basketball in NEWMAC Semifinals, 73-46

MIT Knocks Off Women’s Basketball in NEWMAC Semifinals, 73-46

BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) led four players in double figures with 14 points and fourth-seeded MIT held top-seeded Babson College to a season-low 29.4 percent shooting on its way to defeating the Beavers, 73-46, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament semifinal on Thursday night inside Staake Gymnasium.

Babson, which is seventh in the latest NCAA regional rankings, drops to 21-5 on the year and must wait to see if it receives an at-large bid to the Division III championship when the selections are announced on Monday. MIT, which captured its first conference title last season, improves to 20-7 on the year and will travel to third-seeded Springfield for Saturday's NEWMAC final.

Senior Payton Ouimette (Medfield, Mass.) posted her 16th double-double of the year with 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Beavers. Classmate Téa Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) added 10 points and five boards, while junior Emily Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.) contributed nine points, eight rebounds and three steals in the loss.

Senior Kristen Ngan (Sudbury, Mass.) finished with 12 points and six assists, classmate Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.) added 11 points and six dimes, and fellow senior Dolly Yuan (San Jose, Calif.) chipped in with 10 points and four steals for the Engineers. Sophomore Jocelyn Luizzi (Colchester, Conn.) and senior Sophie Gershon (New York, N.Y.) both contributed nine points and five rebounds off the bench.

Ngan hit a pair of early triples and MIT scored 10 points off of six Babson turnovers to build a 16-6 advantage late in the first quarter. Spellacy and junior Jacqueline Jozefick (Milford, Conn.) hit three-pointers as part of an 8-0 run that cut the deficit to two late in the stanza, but the Engineers responded by scoring on eight of their first 11 second-quarter possessions to extend the margin back to 34-20 with 3:41 to go until halftime.

Bonifacic converted a layup out of a timeout, but V'Dovec and Holinski both knocked down late three-pointers to push the MIT lead to 40-22 at the break. The Beavers limited the visitors to just one point over their first 10 possessions of the third quarter and pulled within 41-28 on a baseline jumper by Jozefick at the 5:48 mark. The Green and White missed a layup on its next trip and Luizzi scored in transition to key a 14-2 Engineers' run that extended the margin to 57-30 with 1:08 to play in the stanza.

Ngan, Yuan and Luizzi all hit three-pointers and Gershon scored on two straight possessions early in the fourth as MIT took its biggest lead of the game at 70-39 with 6:15 to go.

The Beavers, who finished with a 40-30 edge on the glass, committed 27 turnovers and were just 3-of-13 from deep. The Engineers shot 44.3 percent for the game and scored 28 points off of Babson miscues over the first three quarters.

• The Beavers are 54-12 all-time against MIT and had won four straight in the series prior to Thursday night.
• Babson, which had not faced the Engineers since 2001 in the conference playoffs, are now 5-1 all-time against MIT in the postseason.
• The Beavers were playing in their 11th straight NEWMAC Tournament semifinal.
• Babson is now 15-2 in conference tournament games inside Staake Gymnasium dating back to 2009.