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Last Second Basket Gives MIT Women’s Basketball the Win

By Alisha Schor

It was one of those movie shots. The game was tied, the clock was draining in decimal increments, and Maria E. Hidalgo ’04 lofted the ball into the air. As the time clicked to zero the ball went in to bring the score to 59-57, snapping a twelve-game losing streak for the lady Engineers.

With a 2-15 record and no wins against any fellow New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) teams, the 2003-2004 season has been a struggle for the women’s basketball team as they continue to adjust the style of new Head Coach Kristi Straub. They are making progress with the changes, however, and continually put forth their best effort. “We get along well. There is lots of dedication to the sport and to the team,” Andrea J. Dooley ’06 said.

Last Thursday’s win against the Massachusetts College of the Liberal Arts (MCLA) was thanks to a strong second half and a never-give-up attitude. The thrill came not only from Hidalgo’s last-second basket, but also from a tying shot coming only 36 seconds before by Rayna B. Zacks ’05. “Against MCLA, Maria [Hidalgo] played exceptionally well and really gave us a boost. Lauren Tsai [’04] had a great defensive game, especially with steals on the press,” Dooley said.

Although not all of Tech’s most recent games have had winning outcomes, they have nonetheless been a display of strong playing and skills. Last Saturday’s game against NEWMAC opponent Clark University showed a brave first half by MIT, who stuck closely to their plan of holding off the Clark offense with aggressive one-on-one post defense.

At the break, the Engineers were down only eight points, but unfortunately, the tiring MIT team could not hold off one of the strongest teams in the conference, and the game ended in a 73-47 loss. Even so, Zacks still managed to record a team-high of eight rebounds in the game, while Hidalgo, who has averaged 8.5 points per game, added ten more points to her total.

The Engineers have less than a half a dozen more games before entering the post-season, where they plan to surprise several NEWMAC opponents with the skills they have been honing in practice all season.