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MIT edges past Mount Holyoke in 75-72 win

By Manish Bapna

With two minutes remaining against Mount Holyoke College, the women's basketball team found themselves on the wrong end of a 64-60 score Thursday night at Rockwell Cage. But with 17 seconds left on the clock, Maureen Fahey '90 grabbed an offensive rebound and swished a five-footer to sent the game into overtime. And when a Lyon three-point attempt at the buzzer bounced off the rim twice before falling wide, the Engineers had a 75-72 victory in what was their most exciting contest of the season.

Mount Holyoke charged to a 10-2 lead within the first four minutes of the first half. But the Engineers, led by Fahey and three starting freshmen, came back to score the 13 consecutive points by controlling both the offensive and defensive boards. Susan Ward '92 assisted with a demonstration of tenacious defense during the run.

Fahey and Catherine Mein of the Lyons dominated the rest of the half as they alternated baskets almost at will. The opposing centers combined for over 35 of the 58 points scored in the first half alone -- as Mount Holyoke went into the locker room holding a slim 31-27 lead.

Guard Robin Rawles '90 came out in the second half nailing three shots in a row, giving MIT a temporary three-point lead. The second half brought forth some of the best play in both teams, especially from MIT's freshmen. Neither team could afford to fall behind by more than a few points, and neither did. A highlight film could have been made from the blocked shots, steals, and breakaways of Ward, Bernadette Upshaw '92, and Showna Chang '92 alone.

Although the Engineers were down by four with time running out, Chang and Fahey were able to even up the game at 66 before time expired in regulation. Unfortunately for Mount Holyoke, they lost their two best players within the first minute of overtime -- one to an injury, the other fouled out. And MIT took advantage of the opportunities presented to them.

The score was tied at 70 when Ward stole the ball and followed with a lay-up. Chang then demonstrated considerable poise, twice hitting the front end of a one-and-one and clinching the victory for the Engineers.

The dramatic 75-72 victory over a rival conference member lifted the Engineers record to 7-11 and 2-5 in the New England Women's Eight Conference, as well as moving them into a tie for seventh place with the Lyons.