Babson Women's Basketball Holds Off MIT for 13th Straight Win, 55-53
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) scored a game-high 17 points and Babson College built a 17-point lead late in the third quarter before holding off a furious rally to edge visiting MIT, 55-53, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Wednesday night inside Staake Gymnasium.
Babson, which has won 13 straight games, improves to 15-2 overall and 9-1 in league play, while MIT slips to 13-5 overall and 7-3 in the NEWMAC with just its second loss in the last 12 games.
Senior Payton Ouimette (Medfield, Mass.) finished with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting to go along with nine rebounds for the Beavers. Senior Elizabeth Lane (Skaneateles, N.Y.) had six points and two assists, while junior Emily Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.) led all players with 14 rebounds in the win.
First-year Christina Antonakakis (Holmdel, N.J.) scored 12 of her team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter, while sophomore Kylie Gallagher (Upton, Mass.) recorded 14 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots for the Engineers.
Leading 8-7 near the midway point of the first quarter, the Green and White rattled off a 14-2 lead to push its advantage to 22-9 with less than 30 seconds to go in the stanza. Senior Téa Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) knocked down a three-pointer, Tamulionis hit four straight free throws and junior Jacqueline Jozefick (Milford, Conn.) added five straight points to cap the spurt.
Despite making just two field goals in the second quarter, the Beavers led by as many as 13 twice and carried a 31-20 edge in to the break. Ouimette scored twice around a bucket by Lane to make it 37-22 less than five minutes into the third, and Tamulionis contributed five points during an 8-2 burst that gave Babson its biggest lead of the night at 45-28 on a three-pointer by senior Bianca Tomassini (North Branford, Conn.) with 90 seconds left in the frame.
Antonakakis sparked a 15-2 run with 10 points to cut the MIT deficit to 47-43 with 6:23 left, only to see Tamulionis, Ouimette and Lane score on three consecutive trips to help the Beavers regain a 53-43 advantage with 4:27 to go. The Engineers answered with a 10-2 spurt that included five more points from Antonakakis and a bucket by Gallagher to get within 55-53 with 41 seconds remaining.
The Green and White missed two free throws following a turnover by the visitors with 0:09 left and MIT missed an opportunity to force overtime when Gallagher's layup rimmed out at the buzzer.
Both teams return to action on Saturday as Babson hosts Mount Holyoke at 12 p.m., while MIT travels to WPI at 2 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 54-11 all-time against MIT and have won four straight games in the series.
• Each of the last five meetings between Babson and the Engineers have been decided by five points or less.
• The 55 points are the fewest scored by the Beavers in a win since February 10, 2018, when they defeated Springfield, 55-48.
• Babson's 13-game winning streak is the program's longest since running off 13 straight victories from January 14-Feburary 27 in 2016.