Women's Basketball Earns Thrilling Comeback Win Over MIT

Women's Basketball Earns Thrilling Comeback Win Over MIT

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—UMass Boston women's basketball erased an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit, to earn their best win of the season on Saturday against host MIT.

THE BASICS 

UMass Boston 68, MIT 63

(UMass Boston 10-1)
(MIT 7-3) 

HOW IT HAPPENED

With the Beacons trailing for over 37 minutes in the game, they used an 18-2 run over the final 5:17 to earn their program record ninth-straight win.

Senior Katie Mathieu (Coventry, Conn.) gave the Beacons the lead for good with a go-ahead, and-one with 49 seconds to play. Fellow seniors Lydia Vital (Cambridge, Mass.) and Raven Kelsey (Boston, Mass.) each hit a pair of free throws in the waning seconds to secure the victory.

Freshman Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) and Kelsey combined for 49 of the Beacons' 68 points in the win. 

Grassi went off for a career-high 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 shooting from the charity stripe. The freshman had 17 of the Beacons' 30 points in the first half and ended the day with eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal.

Kelsey tacked on season-high 20 points and matched her season-high with 11 rebounds in the win. Kelsey came up huge in the third quarter, scoring 10 of the Beacons 16 points and tacking on five rebounds.

Vital added five points and a game-high six assists, while Mathieu tacked on five points and four rebounds. 

Four different Engineers finished in double-figures, led by Kylie Gallagher's 17 points and nine rebounds. Dolly Yuan recorded 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Engineers who played just seven players, after earning an overtime win less than 24 hours prior. 

Taking a 21-15 lead into the second quarter, a layup by junior Taylor V'Dovec coupled with a Gallagher free throw increased MIT's advantage to nine after 1:09 elapsed. Grassi generated the next seven points for UMass Boston, closing the gap to 24-22 at the 6:18 mark. The Engineers responded with an 8-2 burst during the next four minutes before entering halftime ahead, 36-30, following Gallagher's layup as time expired. 

After trading baskets to start the third quarter, Grassi's three-pointer narrowed the gap to 38-35 with 8:04 on the clock. A defensive battle ensued until Yuan fastbreak layup ended the stalemate with 2:42 to go, while Gallagher chipped in two free throws to give MIT some breathing room. 

Kelsey ended UMass Boston's scoring drought with a trey. She went on to account for eight of the Beacons' next 11 points, helping them trim the deficit to 49-46 at the end of the frame. 

The Engineers opened the fourth quarter with a 12-4 run as Yuan's layup gave the hosts their largest lead of the game (61-50) at the 6:25 mark. UMass Boston gradually mounted its game-changing rally, eventually going in front on Mathieu's 3-point play. The senior grabbed an offensive rebound and took one dribble before being hacked while throwing up a running shot. 

Maude Gull missed a 3-pointer on the other end and Vital and Kelsey both hit two free throws to cap the Beacons' best win of the year.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

  • This was the first meeting between both programs since 1990-91, which was won by MIT. UMass Boston's only other victory versus the Engineers occurred during the 1981-82 season. MIT leads the all-time series 3-2.
  • UMass Boston earned a 24-8 edge in points off turnovers and 14-6 advantage in second chance points.
  • The Beacons led for just one minute and 13 seconds in the contest.
  • Grassi has now scored double-digit points in 10 of her first 11 games and has reached the 20-point mark on four occasions.
  • UMass Boston played 12 different players in their first game back from break.
  • The Beacons are 10-1 for the first time in program history and have already surpassed their win total from a year ago (9-17).

WHO'S NEXT

UMass Boston will open 2018 on Thursday night, when the Beacons travel to Bridgewater State University at 5:30 p.m.

PARTS OF THIS RELEASE COURTESY OF MIT SPORTS INFORMATION