MIT outguns WSU in OT, 98-92

Westfield State’s Olivia Hadla, of Westfield looks to drive to the hoop against MIT. (WESTFIELD STATE UNIVERSITY PHOTO)

WESTFIELD – Westfield State’s Melissa Gray (Peabody, Mass.) and MIT’ Christina Antonakakis (Holmdel, NJ) staged an epic scoring duel with more than 30 points each, but in the end it was Antonakakis’ Engineers who came away with a 98-92 overtime win in a non-conference basketball game at the Woodward Center on Tuesday evening.
Gray and the Owls used a big second quarter to lead by as many as 15 points and led 50-40 at the half. Gray scored 14 of her 31 in the opening frame. Westfield shot 61 percent from the floor, and 54.5 percent (6-11) from long range in the second quarter
MIT kept the game tight in the second half, scoring first five points of the second half and never letting the Owls extend back to double figures.
Westfield led 83-75 after and Olivia Hadla (Westfield) 3-pointer with 3:06 left in regulation, but MIT rallied to tie at 83-all with a pair of three pointers from Sarah Berman (York, Pa./Central) sandwiched around a Paula Pieper (Greenville, SC (Christ Episcopal) jumper.
A series of turnovers followed for both teams, and the game went to overtime at 83-all.
Little separated the two sides in the extra frame, as a pair of free throws from the Owls’ Paris Wilkey (Lynn/Classical) tied the game at 92-all with 47 seconds left, but Antonakakis answered with a three pointer to give MIT a 95-92 lead with 35 seconds left.
Westfield’s offense sputtered on the next possession as MIT clamped down, and Gray missed a three-pointer while tightly guarded. MIT gathered the rebound and Antonakakis made 1 of 2 at the line to extend the lead to four with seven seconds left. Westfield forced a turnover after an MIT offensive rebound could have ended the game, and remarkably the teams traded turovers twice more in the closing seconds before MIT found Kylie Gallagher (Upton/Nipmuc) for a layup as time expired to seal the win,
Antonakakis finished with 40 points on 13-25 shooting, 8-17 from three point range and 6-7 from the line.
Westfield’s Gray netted 31 while shooting 10-15 from the floor, 7-15 from three, and 4-5 at the line, with nine rebounds and five steals.
Westfield’s Olivia Hadla added 16 points and four assists, and Alie Mendel (Adams/Hoosac Valley) finished with 11 for the Owls.
MIT got scoring support from Berman with 19, including 5 of 10 from downtown, and 11 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots from Gallagher.
Both teams commited 27 turnovers as it was played at a frenetic pace throughout, and both teams shot well from long range, as MIT finished 15-38 (39.5 pct) and Westfield was 14-37 (39.5 pct).
Westfield slides to 0-3 on the season, while MIT is now 3-0.
Westfield will be back in action on Friday night, facing Emerson College in the UMass Dartmouth tournament. – Courtesy of Westfield State University Sports

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