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Women Hoopsters Drop Two Hard-fought Matches

By Thomas Kettler
Staff Reporter

In a hard-fought game against the top-ranked Wheaton College Lyons, the women's basketball team lost by a score of 74-52 Thursday at Rockwell Cage. The defeat made the team 0-2 for the week and 9-7 for the season, coming on the heels of Tuesday's 69-67 loss to the Rivier College Raiders.

The Lyons' press created havoc for the Engineers on Thursday. "Our intensity was down at that time, and we didn't respond to it at all," said head coach Suzan Rowe.

Wheaton started rolling from the beginning with a 9-3 lead after three minutes of play. By the midpoint of the half, they had accumulated a 23-11 lead.

MIT battled back with a 9-2 run to get the score up to 25-20, but the Engineers would get no closer at any later point in the game, as Wheaton answered with strong playing to bring the score 39-23 at the half.

At halftime, as part of the national "Women in Sports Day" festivities, the Windham Middle School women's team put on an exhibition game. The team divided into green and white squads and played for 10 minutes. The green team exploited the white's lack of ballhandlers with a 12-4 trouncing.

The Engineers had one final run in the beginning of the second half and cut the Lyons' lead to eight after just six minutes into the half. Wheaton answered with a run of their own and MIT never got closer than 12 for the remainder of the game.

The only double digit scorer for the game was C.J. Doane '95, with 17 points. The Engineers could only manage 30 percent shooting from the floor. Amy MacKay '97 led the team in rebounds with 17.

Foul crucial in Rivier match

In most of the first half of Tuesday's game against the Rivier College Raiders, the teams swapped the lead often, with neither staying ahead by more than two points. However, in the final 30 seconds of the first half, the Raiders opened up a six point lead to end the half at 37-31.

In the first five minutes of the second half, the Engineers retook the lead with a 12-2 run to make the score 43-39 after a Doane field goal. Rivier retook the lead, at 48-46, three minutes later in a three-point play.

The Raiders pushed their lead to six but the Engineers eventually answered and MacKay tied the game at 58 on a field goal with 4:38 to play.

Thirty seconds later, Michelle Carpenter converted one of two free throws to give Rivier a 59-58 lead that it would not relinquish. With one-and-a-half minutes left in the game, the score was 67-61 before MacKay made two free throws, bring MIT within two points.

At this point, MIT fouled Melissa Ayotte after failing to get a steal on the inbounds pass. The play backfired as Ayotte converted the one-and-one opportunity to give Rivier a 69-65 lead with 26 seconds left. Kristin Ratliff '95 made a field goal to make the score 69-67 with 14 seconds remaining.

The Engineers could not get the rebound on the final free throw opportunity for the Raiders and Rivier ran out the clock to win 69-67.

Head coach Rowe expained her position on the foul with 26 seconds left: "They were running the clock down. If we didn't steal the ball within 10 seconds, we'd then foul."