January 22, 2011

Cougars Drop Second Straight, 56-50

Worcester, Mass. – Visiting MIT snapped an 11 game losing streak to Clark that spanned almost an entire decade, with a hard-fought 56-50 win over the host Cougars on Saturday afternoon in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action.

The win for the Engineers gives them victories in two of their last three games and improves their record 7-9 overall and 3-7 in league play. The Cougars, meanwhile, drop their second straight following a four game win streak and dip to 6-11 and 5-5 in conference action.

Neither team shot the ball well with MIT connecting on just 32 percent of its attempts (20-for-63) and Clark shooting just below 30 percent (21-for-72).

With the score 17-16 in favor of the visitors following a Brittany Kennedy (West Hartford, Conn.) offensive rebound and putback, the Engineers scored six straight points to take a 23-16 edge before settling for a 28-26 halftime lead.

The second half saw the Cougars keep the game close, tying it at 37 all after a three-pointer from Emily Reilly (Marlboro, Mass.), but MIT ran off six straight points again to go up 43-37 with exactly nine minutes left.

Clark couldn't find a rhythm offensively, however, and went the next seven minutes scoring just six points and going 3-for-13 from the field during that span.

The Engineer edge ballooned to its peak at 54-43 after Tamara Pena (Alisa Viejo, Calif.) made a pair of free throws to seal the game with 41 seconds left.

The win for MIT is their first over Clark since February 17, 2001 – nearly ten years ago.

Lauren Sascha Burton (Seattle, Wash.) led all scorers with 13 points, ten rebounds, three blocks and three assists in 35 minutes. Pena, meanwhile, totaled 12 points – nine of them in the second half and Anna Merrifield (Honolulu, Hawai'i) chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds.

The Cougars were paced by Megan Grondin (Cumberland, Maine), who recorded her first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. No other Cougar reached double figures, but Ivori Aiken (Harlem, N.Y.) provided a spark off the bench, finishing with six points and five rebounds in just ten minutes.

Both teams return to the hardwood on Wednesday as the Clark hosts Wellesley and MIT visits Coast Guard.