Engineers score rare win over Lyons, 45-41

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) scored a team-high 13 points in Wheaton College's 45-41 loss at MIT Wednesday night in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action.

Classmate Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Lyons (6-10, 4-5 NEWMAC), who have dropped two-straight following a three-game winning streak. Freshman Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md./Urbana) led the Engineers (8-7, 4-5 NEWMAC) with a game-high 15 points. The win marked just the third for MIT in the last 18 meetings with the Lyons.

Wheaton took a five-point lead into halftime behind eight points from Brickley, five from senior Nicole Cullinane (Rindge, N.H./New Hampton School), and four from Kuhn and senior Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional). The Lyons dominated the paint in the opening 20 minutes, outscoring the Engineers 12-4 while snaring 24 rebounds, compared to 13 for the home team.

MIT scored eight of the first 10 points of the second half – including five from Kordell – to take its first lead of the game at 29-28. Kordell knocked down her second triple of the half at 13:28 to stretch the lead to four at 32-28, and a three-point play by junior Lauren Sascha Burton (Seattle, Wash./Nathan Hale) gave the Engineers a seven-point lead (35-28) with 12:52 on the clock.

Wheaton sliced its deficit to one on three different occasions down the stretch, only to see MIT answer with a basket each time. Trailing 43-41 with 1:31 remaining, the Lyons missed their next three shots – including a pair of three-pointers – before Kordell sank two free throws with 10 seconds left to cap the scoring.

Both teams struggled from the field as the Lyons finished the game shooting 28.1 pct. (15-of-57) while MIT knocked down just 14 of its 52 attempts from the field (26.9 pct.). The key to the game was turnovers as MIT converted 14 Wheaton turnovers into 16 points while the Lyons did not record any points off 10 MIT turnovers.

Cullinane finished with nine points while DePalo went for four points, nine rebounds, and four assists. Kuhn, meanwhile, has scored 10-or-more points in four of her last seven contests and is averaging 9.9 ppg during that stretch.

The Lyons return to Norton this Saturday for a 2 p.m. contest with Springfield. The Engineers host Smith Saturday at 1 p.m.

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