Springfield, Mass. -- February 11, 2012 -- Two free throws by freshman Alexxis Isaac with no time on the clock propelled the MIT women's basketball team to a dramatic come-from-behind 51-50 victory over Springfield College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference contest at SC's Blake Arena this afternoon. The Engineers scored four points in the last eight seconds to win it.
With the win, MIT is now 10-12 overall, 6-10 in the NEWMAC. Springfield falls to 12-11 overall, 8-8 in the league.
It was a game with some wild ups-and-downs. The Pride led by 16 in the first half, and by 10 at the half. With 7:34 left in the game, MIT led by eight. With 20 seconds left, SC was up by four. And with 14 seconds left, SC was still up by three.
With 14 seconds left, SC senior guard Kelly Murphy (Mechanicville, N.Y.) made the first of two free throws, giving Springfield a 50-47 lead. But she missed the second. Freshman forward Michelle Battipaglia (Katonah, N.Y.) coralled the rebound for MIT.
With eight seconds left, freshman Mari Kordall (Iamsville, Md.) scored a lay-up, cutting the margin to one, 50-49. With five seconds left, Battipaglia stole the in-bounds pass. She then fired it over to Isaac, a freshman from San Antonio, Texas, who had a clean look from about 15 feet away. But Isaac was fouled on the play as she took the shot, just before the buzzer sounded.
Springfield called time-out, trying to freeze the freshman, but Isaac calmly then stepped to the line, with no one else in the lane, and sank both free throws, to win the game.
Kordell led all scorers with 19 points. She also had four steals. Isaac was next for MIT with 12 points and four rebounds. Battipaglia had 11 points , five rebounds, and three steals, including the big steal in those final seconds.
Senior Kelly Slattery (Somers, Conn.) led the Pride with 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the floor. Murphy was the only other double-figure scorer for SC with 11 points. She also had six rebounds and three steals. Senior guard Andrea Butler (Cohoes, N.Y.) followed with nine points, six rebounds, five assists, and five steals. She was 4-of-5 from the floor.
As it was Senior Day for the Pride, it was the final game for Slattery, Murphy, and Butler on their home floor.
In the first half, after a Kordell jumper evened things at four at the 16:33 mark, Springfield rattled off a 12-2 run over the next 4:07, capped off by a basket from sophomore center Rachel Landon (Chaplin, Conn.). The Pride’s lead grew to as many as 16 with 4:50 remaining following a Slattery layup which made the score 26-10. The Engineers closed out the half on a 7-1 burst, using four points from junior forward Anna Merrifield (Honolulu, Hi.) to head into the locker room trailing 27-17.
The Pride was especially efficient from the field in that half, connecting on 52.5% (12-23) of its shots, but kept MIT within striking distance by committing 13 turnovers.
For the game, SC shot .512 (22-of-43) to MIT's .380 (19-of-50). SC also outrebounded the Engineers, 36-27. But the Pride committed 27 turnovers to MIT's 20. And SC also made just 5-of-11 from the free throw line.