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Women Outshoot Coast Guard With Balanced Scoring Attack

By Thomas Kettler
Staff Reporter

Aided by a very poor shooting performance by the Coast Guard Academy and a balanced scoring attack, the Engineers beat the Cadets in women's basketball on Saturday, 59-30. A crowd of 109 people at Rockwell was in attendance at Rockwell Cage. The record for the women is now 5-9 overall.

In the first half, MIT kept Coast Guard scoreless for the first six minutes, who finally scored with 13:55 left in the half on a three-pointer by Tarah Bell to make the score 7-3. However, the Engineers then kept the Cadets scoreless again until 9:47 when Sarah Swinney made a field goal to make the score 14-5. After that, Coast Guard came to within two with 2:22 left in the game as Nell Stamper made two free throws for a score of 16-14. However, they would never get any closer as MIT finished the half with a 8-1 run ended by a field goal by center Kristen Ratliff '95 to enter the halftime break at 24-15.

Neither team shot very well from the floor in the first half. While the Engineers shot a low 37 percent from the floor, the Cadets were even worse, with 14 percent shooting. The scoring was balanced as forward C.J. Doane '95 led the team with nine, while guard Tammy Porter '94 had seven and Ratliff, five. Forward Mari Casserberg '94, forward Jen Boyle `96, and Ratliff tied for the lead in rebounds with six.

In the second half, the Academy continued to shoot poorly. A seemingly unimportant field goal by the Cadets at 17:21 to make the score 28-19 turned out to be very important as the Academy failed to score again until Tarah Bell made a field goal, more than nine minutes later.

In the meantime, MIT had scored 12 points to put the game out of reach with the score 40-21. The Engineers did this with a great coaching strategy by Head Coach Suzan Rowe, which had many of the starters in for the first five minutes. A whole new set of five, led by starting forward Doane, was brought into the game. The strategy confused the Cadets players. The game ended with a score of 59-30 as MIT worked simply to end the clock rather than to run up the score.

Both teams shot better in the second half than in the first. However, the Cadets still shot only 21 percent for the half to finish with a terrible 18 percent for the game. The Engineers shot a respectable 46 percent to finish the game at 42 percent. However, MIT continued to have problems at the line, shooting only 41 percent on free throws.

Two Engineer players finished in double figures. Doane had 15 points while Casserberg had 13. Ratliff and Casserberg each had 12 rebounds, while Boyle added nine. Porter led the team with three assists, and Boyle had the only two blocks MIT got in the game.

Head coach Rowe was extremely pleased with the team's performance, saying "Great team effort. Everybody played and played with intensity. [We] had two equal teams to keep intensity up."

On Thursday, MIT lost at Wellesley 80-44. This made the team 0-3 in New England Women's 8 Conference contests.

The Engineers play tonight at 7 p.m. at Rockwell Cage in a non-conference game against River College. They also play Thursday night, at Wheaton College.