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Women...s Basketball Tops Babson College Unlikely Shots, Late Free Throws Yield Win

By Travis Johnson

Two unlikely and spectacular shots down the stretch helped the MIT Women’s Basketball team win 63-58 over Babson in its second conference game of the season last Tuesday.

With the game tied at 54, Kimberly E. Soo Hoo ’08 came off a ball screen at the top of the key to her left and saw an opening for a shot. But mid-shot the 5’0” Soo Hoo saw a defender coming from her right, so she switched to her left hand and hit the fifteen foot shot.

“It actually felt like a natural move at the time, probably because I was so full of adrenaline,” said Soo Hoo afterwards. Judging by her coaches’ smiles and the fans whooping, the shot was anything but natural to everyone watching.

Babson tied the game at 56 with a standard right-handed shot by April Suprey. On the next possession, MIT had trouble getting an open look until near the end of the shot clock. Double-teamed with the ball a few feet beyond the three point line, Clara J. Yuan ’09 flung up a desperation shot that got nothing but net, and a second roar from the crowd.

Though down 59-56, Babson wasn’t finished; the Beavers pulled within a point on their next possession and got a steal with 40 seconds remaining, giving them a chance to take the lead.

But MIT got a steal of its own, forcing Babson to foul Soo Hoo, who knocked down four straight free throws to ice the 63-58 win.

The Engineers got off to a quick 20-13 start thanks to the shooting of the super-freshman Yuan, who leads the team with 12.5 points per game, and contributed 18 Tuesday. Babson had trouble getting the ball to scoring leader Suzy Ward thanks to some excellent post fronting by MIT’s Christa Margossian ’07 and Samantha O’Keefe ’09.

But Caitlin Boulier picked up the slack for Babson and hit four three pointers en route to matching Yuan’s 18. MIT had no answer for Boulier, who at a mobile 6’0” could dribble around post defenders and shoot over guards.

MIT held onto a 35-29 lead at halftime that quickly evaporated when Babson went on a 9-2 run, including a Boulier three, to take a 38-37 lead.

The second half was an intense struggle, with both sides playing tight defense and giving points begrudgingly.

Babson’s points came on the interior, especially after Margossian fouled out with 6:25 remaining. On MIT’s side, Yuan, Soo Hoo, and Karen A. Kinnaman ’06 led an entirely outside attack, combining for 46 of their team’s points.

The win improves MIT’s record to 6-11, 2-6 NEWMAC, as Babson drops to 10-8, 4-4. While not impressive at first glance, the team only had 3 wins at this time last year.

Soo Hoo cites a new coaching staff, the addition of Yuan, and the performance of the bench. “Several times this season we’ve had big scoring runs that were sparked by non-starters. That doesn’t happen often for a lot of other teams, but we have talent and competitiveness all the way down the roster.”