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Casserberg Scores 1,000th Point

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@ByName:By Daniel Wang

@ByTitle:Staff Reporter

@Body:When the womens basketball team took the floor at Rockwell Cage, Monday night against Anna Maria College, the situation seemed like just another game.

The goal that Mari Casserberg 94 scored off of a pass from C.J. Doane 95 seemed like any other. But the basket scored about four minutes into the first half was one of the biggest of her athletic career, and in the history of MIT athletics.

The crowd went wild when Casserberg took the ball in front of the basket, bounced it off the glass; it hit the rim and fell through the net.

Casserberg had become the second player in womens basketball history to score over 1,000 points. The game stopped for a few minutes, as people came onto the court to congratulate her.

Casserberg added nine more points to end the game with 1,009 career points, placing her thirteenth among MITs all-time scoring leaders, and second among women.

It would have seemed fitting for her team to win the game the same night, and for a time it looked like the Engineers would win. They led by a fairly wide margin for most of the game, but the Amcats made a comeback to tie the score late in the game, and then go ahead to win, 6963.

The team has lost four consecutive games, and now stands at 48 for the season.

Throughout the first half, the Engineers seemed to take advantage of poor shooting and sloppy ball handling from part of Anna Maria. With the Amcats displaying a lack of inside defense, MIT players were able to penetrate for easy baskets.

Casserberg scored her first two field goals on fast break layups. MIT had its biggest lead with around nine and a half minutes remaining in the first half, with the score 205. Several time guard Tammy Porter 94 was able to catch her defender looking the other way and had many fast break opportunities.

The Engineers had the lead for the entire first half. After the ten-minute mark, the team led nearly the whole half by at least ten points. After Anna Maria brought the score to 2920 with 3:!4 left, coach Suzan Rowe called a time out.

The players had a chance to regroup, and the scoring started again. With 1:20 left before halftime, guard Sarah Davis 97 drew some amazement from the crowd when she cleanly slapped a field goal attempt out of the air. The Amcats inability to put the ball through the hoop helped the Engineers to a 3523 halftime lead.

The Engineers seemed to be able to maintain the lead throughout the second half, but were stunned by their opponents, who inched closer at every moment.

Six minutes into the second half, MIT increased the lead to 4731. The play seemed uneventful until 7:50, when the Amcats were surprisingly back into the game by cutting the lead to six points, the score 5347.

Soon afterwards, Davis canned a three-pointer to give the Engineers some breathing room. Or so it seemed. The Amcats started making baskets and generated a scoring run. In less than thirty seconds, the opposition made two easy field goals. MIT was able to match baskets with Anna Maria most of the way, and things seemed like the Engineers might be able to pull a win off.

At 3:53, a tip-in allowed Anna Maria to finally tie the game, 5959. Seconds later, Doane rejected a shot and allowed the Engineers to regain possession of the ball. Amy Mckay 97 scored at 3:00 to put MIT back up 61-59, but moments later, fouled Amcat center Holly McHale, who sank the two resulting free throws.

MIT went back up 63-61, but another foul helped the Amcats come back. At 2:03, McKay was again called for a foul. Although the one-and-one free throw missed, a teammate grabbed the rebound and scored for two points, to tie the game again.

With about a minute left, Porter, who was looking for an open teammate, had a hasty bounce pass, into the hands of an Anna Maria player. It was the play that turned the game over to Anna Maria.

That player did not convert the turnover into points, but MIT had lost a valuable scoring opportunity. With 45 seconds to go, an Amcat three-pointer turned out to be the winning basket. On the offense, Casserburg tried to respond, but missed a layup. She fought for the rebound, but the referee called a jump ball, giving possession to Anna Maria.

With 35 seconds left in the game, McHale grabbed a loose ball and went on a breakaway to the other goal. Casserburg ran her down and fouled her in a desperate attempt to prevent an easy basket.

McHale was not able to put up a shot, but the foul was Casserburgs fifth, taking her out of the game.

McHale made the two shots at the line to put the game out of reach. MIT continued to make a comeback effort, but the Amcats continued to grab rebounds, forcing the Engineers to foul opposing players in order to stop the clock.

Another trip to the foul line allowed Anna Maria to add another point, bringing the score to 69-63.

The statistics showed a definite reversal of fortunes for the two teams. MIT field goal percentage dropped from 46 percent in the first half to 32 percent in the second half.

Anna Maria, whose players were only 9 for 29 in the first half, improved to 56 percent in the second half, making eight more baskets in the half than the Engineers.

The Amcats took only two shots from three-point land, but the one that cleared the hoop turned out to be the game-winning basket. The Engineers also displayed a lack of outside shooting, making only one of four attempts.

Fouls made a big difference in the game. None of Anna Marias starting players had more than two fouls, while the entire team committed only nine fouls, granting MIT only twelve free throws.

At the same time, MIT had 19 fouls, with two players fouling out. The percentages were roughly the same, but the Amcats made 12 of 20 shots from the foul line.

Rowe attributed the result of the game to her teams inability to put together two halves of effective play. The Engineers had experienced similar situations in the past two games, where they took a lead, only to lose it at the end.

On her teams play in the first half, Rowe said, I pleased with the way they played. They were upbeat and played offensively.

In the second half, the other team reacted to our defense. They came out more aggressively. And we seemed to lose our intensity, Rowe said.

With eleven games left in the season before the season-ending New England Womens 8 Conference tournament, Casserberg has a chance at becoming MITs all-time leading female scorer.

Maureen Fahey 90 owns the top spot, with 1,177 points, meaning that Casserberg would have to average at least 15.3 points a game for the rest of the regular season to take over that position.

The tournament could provide some extra chances. Unfortunately, the MIT overall all-time leader Campbell Lange 76 with 1,699 points, appears to be out of reach for Casserberg.