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Women's Hoops Beats Suffolk Loses to WPI at Last Second

By Daniel Wang and Thomas Kettler
Staff Reporters

The women's basketball team improved its record to 8-12 by defeating Suffolk University by a score of 89-66, Saturday at Rockwell Cage. The Engineers were in constant control of the game, scoring almost equally in both halves.

The victory against Suffolk made up for the tough home game loss Thursday on a final second free throw 75-74 to WPI. As a result, MIT is now 0-5 in the New England Women's Eight Conference.

The Engineers jumped out in the first half of the Suffolk game by shooting 42 percent from the field, slightly better than the 35 percent effort put forth by the Rams. MIT increased its dominance by taking advantage of fouls, missing only one shot from the free throw line, to shoot a phenomenal 92 percent and add 11 points to the scoreboard. MIT also won the battle of the boards, outrebounding Suffolk on both ends of the court, for a total of 27 to 11. Guard Sarah Davis '97 made the only three-pointer taken in the opening half to give the Engineers a perfect three-point shooting percentage. The total result was an MIT lead of 44-33 at halftime.

The Engineers had lower numbers in the second half, but still maintained control. They took further advantage of Suffolk fouls to make 17 of this half's 26 shots from the line. Although their shooting from the stripe fell to 65 percent, they still kept their edge on the Rams.

The Engineers had a 40 percent field goal percentage for the entire game. Davis took another three-point attempt in the second half, but missed, to give the team 50 percent success from the arc. The most surprising statistic was free throw shooting, where the Engineers made an above-average 74 percent from the charity stripe, making 11 more such shots than their opponents. Rebounds also seemed to be a key factor, as the Engineers grabbed 58 boards, compared to 40 by Suffolk.

Four of the five starters scored in double figures in this game. Forward Mari Casserberg '94 led the team in scoring and rebounding, with 22 and 12 points, respectively. Davis and center Kristin Ratliff '95 followed Casserberg, both scoring 19 points. Forward C.J. Doane '95, added 16 points to the winning effort.

MIT loses against WPI

In the first half of Thursday's match, MIT let WPI take a lead early on before coming back to lead 35-31 at halftime. Early in the game, neither team could score, and WPI led at the midpoint of the half, 14-10. With five minutes in the half, WPI took its largest lead at 27-19. However, MIT came tied up the game at 29 as center Kristin Ratliff '95 converted a three point play. Forward Amy Mackay '97 closed the scoring on a bucket with 30 seconds left.

Neither team shot well from the floor; MIT only shot 39 percent and WPI 32 percent. Both teams also did poorly at the line, shooting 54 percent and 58 percent, respectively.

Individually, guard Tammy A. Porter '94, Casserberg, and Ratliff tied for the halftime scoring lead with eight.

In the second half, the lead changed hands numerous times as neither team could mount a run to put the game out of reach. WPI tied the game at 37-37 at 1:30 in the half. Then, MIT mounted a small run which gave them their biggest lead at 49-42 on a Casserberg field goal at 12:17. However, center Kim Landry tied the game again at 53-53 with 9 minutes left. For the next 7 minutes, one team would get a two point lead, but the other would quickly tie the game. MIT got its final lead on two free throws by Ratliff to lead 71-70 with 2:03 left. WPI scored the next four points to lead 74-71 before Doane tied the game on free throws at 74-74 with 10 seconds left.

On a questionable foul call, forward Cindy Moser went to the line for two shots. She made the first, and missed the second, giving WPI the win at 75-74 when MIT could not get a closing shot off before the clock expired.

The teams both shot poorly for the second half. MIT finished the game shooting 37 percent from the floor while WPI shot 36 percent. MIT improved its shooting from the line, ending the game at 59 percent. However, MIT lost the game on the boards, since WPI had seven more offensive rebounds, 28 to 21, and 12 more overall, totaling 66 to 54.

Individually, Casserberg led the team with 21 points while Ratliff finished with 17. Davis and Porter added 10 each. Casserberg also led the team with 11 boards while Ratliff added eight.

Head basketball coach Suzan Rowe commented about the WPI game. "We handled the press pretty well. ... The kids really played well. It didn't come down to the final free throws. It came to missed rebounds in the first half, turnovers."

The team will play today at Babson and Thursday at Rockwell Cage against Pine Manor College for its final home game.