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Women’s basketball fell 57-45 to Mount Holyoke College Saturday afternoon at Rockwell Cage despite a game-high 20 points from point guard Kimberly E. SooHoo ’08.

Starting point guard Angela Astuccio paced the Lyons with 18 points and nine rebounds, including 11 points in a decisive 14-0 second-half run that gave Mount Holyoke (16-7, 8-3) a 47-27 lead midway through the second half.

MIT (3-19, 0-11) switched to a full-court press and was able to cut the deficit to 11 with 2:13 to play but would not get any closer.

SooHoo was the key to the Engineers’ attempted comeback. She increased her aggressiveness in the second half, drawing fouls and going 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. She was 6-of-7 from the field for the game, including 2-of-2 from behind the arc.

The contest was tight in the first half, with MIT taking what would be its last lead of the game on a SooHoo three to make it 14-12. Mount Holyoke responded immediately, going on a 10-0 run and coasting to a seven-point lead at the break.

The Lyons were able to capitalize on a distinct height advantage, clogging up the passing lanes on defense and passing over the Engineers on offense. All five Mount Holyoke starters were taller than their MIT counterparts, by an average margin of two inches.

Using their height advantage, the Lyons attacked the offensive glass throughout the game and earned numerous second-chance opportunities. Astuccio used her extra six inches over SooHoo to grab five offensive rebounds, while all four of Marisa Barone’s boards came on the attacking end. For the game Mount Holyoke totaled 18 offensive rebounds, compared to only 10 for the Engineers.

Mount Holyoke also took better care of the ball, ending with a 13-14 assist-to-turnover ratio while MIT managed a meager 5 assists and committed 19 turnovers.

It was Senior Recognition Day, and MIT’s Christa M. Margossian ’07, Michal A. Ruchelsman ’07, and Sharon M. Prange ’07 put in the type of effort to which Head Coach Patricia O’Brien has become accustomed. O’Brien praised the seniors for leading by example and continuing to put in their best effort despite what has become a 16 game losing streak.

O’Brien was particularly happy with Margossian for playing 33 minutes despite feeling under the weather, with Prange for contributing 14 points and nine rebounds, and said Ruchelsman “hustles for every loose ball.”

MIT closes out its home schedule tomorrow night, hosting Wellesley College at 7:00 p.m. in Rockwell Cage.