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Women's Basketball Extends Best Season with Wellesley Win

By Erion Clark

This year's women's basketball team surpassed the record 14-win record set in the 1984-85 season. With a well-earned victory over Wellesley College last Tuesday, the Engineers (165 overall, 51 conference) completed a clean sweep of Tuesday night's games.

After a warming up period, Wellesley struck first with 17:20 remaining in the first half, but then the Engineers held their opponents scoreless for the next 5:21 while doing some scoring of their own. Katie Spayde '99 dropped in the first basket and Vicky Best '99, connected with the game's first three-point basket.

Alix Wandesforde-Smith, Wellesley's leading scorer, broke up the 9 point Tech run with a jump shot. Concentrating on defense, MIT held Wandesforde-Smith to 5 points in her 24 minutes of action. Solid defense and consistent pressing forced Wellesley to commit 25 turnovers.

Co-captain Nicole Gerrish '98 contributed by tallying a steal. With just a little more than nine minutes remaining in the first half, the crowd got excited as Best dissected the defense with a crisp pass to Spayde for a bucket. Shortly thereafter, Spayde was on the receiving end of another nice assist, this time offered up by Lisa Hwang '99.

Michelle Fox '99, Spayde, Best and Hwang hit all the free throws they took. As the half drew to a close, the home team started to make its presence felt on the boards, as Vicky Canto-Ponce '00 pulled down key offensive rebounds.

Second half more physical

Second half play started out a little more physically as Wellesley committed fouls in the first two minutes, priming them for early foul trouble. With 18:07 left in game, the precision passing continued as Maisha Gray '99 served up another pass to Spayde, who dropped 18 points to lead all scorers.

Then, the Lady Engineers distanced themselves from the visitors and displayed the all-around team play that has earned them a first-round home game in the New England Women's Eight Conference post-season tournament.

With seven team fouls by the 10 minute mark, Wellesley ran out of options to hold the Engineers. As Wellesley continued to foul, MIT answered with baskets. MIT made 23 of 29 foul shots (.793). A flurry of offensive/defensive substitutions could not help the opponent overcome the Tech lead.

Canto-Ponce fouled out in the waning minutes of the game, but not before contributing 11 points. Best also scored 11. Closing the door on Wellesley was Gray, who hit her last two free throws.