MIT Pulls Away For 49-32 Victory Over Wellesley Basketball

Senior Zojajha Ayub had five points and three steals for the Blue (Julia Monaco).
Senior Zojajha Ayub had five points and three steals for the Blue (Julia Monaco).

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Senior Kara Holinski (Livonia, Mich.) scored a game-high 13 points to lead visiting MIT to a 49-32 New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) victory over Wellesley College basketball on National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Wednesday evening at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.

MIT is now 16-6 overall and 10-3 in conference following their second straight NEWMAC victory. The Blue drop to 8-12 on the season and 5-9 in NEWMAC play. 

Holinski, who added five board, four assists, two steals, and two blocks, was one of three MIT scorers to finish in double figures, along with sophomore Jocelyn Luizzi (Colchester, Conn.) and first year Christina Antonakakis (Holmdel, N.J.), who each finished with 10 points. Luizzi finished two rebounds shy of a double-double with eight, while senior Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, Wash.) pulled down a game-high nine in 31 minutes of action. 

Sophomore Alyssa Cho (Hillsborough, Calif.) was 4-for-7 from the field to lead Wellesley with nine points and four rebounds, however, the Blue struggled to find a rhythm on offense and finished the game shooting just 30.4% (14-of-46). Junior Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) added six points and junior Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) and senior Zojajha Ayub (Belle Mead, N.J.) each chipped in with five. Aguirre and Ayub each tallied three steals for the Blue. 

Antonakakis canned a jumper at 1:23 of the first to cap a back-and-forth opening quarter with MIT leading, 11-10. Wellesley's Valentina Morakis (Long Island, N.Y.) tied the score, at 11-11, when she hit one-of-two free throws at 6:38 of the second, but the Engineers followed with a 12-0 run to take a 23-11 lead at 2:14. Cho stopped the run with a jumper at 23-13 at 1:26, only to see Dolly Yuan (San Jose, Calif.) drop in a triple to give MIT a 26-13 lead at the half. 

Wellesley outscored MIT, 11-7, in the third quarter to cut the deficit to nine at the start of the fourth. The Blue would get as close as seven in the final ten minutes, when Kopp hit a layup during the opening minute to make the score 33-26. However, the Engineers went on to outscore the Blue 16-6 for the remainder of the quarter, eventually taking their biggest lead of the game at the end of the contest when Antonakakis hit a three to make the final score 49-32. 

MIT finished the game at 39.5% (17-of-43) from the field and had a 33-26 advantage in rebounds. The game featured four ties and six lead changes but the visitors led through the second half en route to the victory. 

Wellesley will host Coast Guard for Senior Day on Saturday, February 9, at 1:00 PM. MIT will take on Smith at 2:00 PM Saturday in Cambridge.