Women’s basketball adds to losing streak

By Tyler Foy, Sports Editor

Photo: Kayla Buck
Sophomore guard Olivia Deslauriers calling plays for the Lions

The women’s basketball team lost a competitive game 69-59 to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Saturday— the Lions’ third straight loss.

Emerson started play in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference with three straight wins but quickly regressed to 3-3. The Lions were outmatched against Babson College, losing to the Badgers 69-32. Head coach Bill Gould credits the slump to a tough part of the team’s schedule, saying he isn’t worried about the team’s ability to bounce back.

“The three losses in a row are three of the top teams in the league,” Gould said. “There’s no such thing in college sports as a moral victory. But we have played a better team, and I feel like we’ve gotten a little better.”

MIT doesn’t sit at the top of the conference, but Gould said two of their players led them to success. Senior guard Christina Antonakakis, for example, is first in the NEWMAC, averaging 21.2 points per game. Gould said he believed the team played well defensively against the elite scorer.

“Credit to Carla Palino for doing a fantastic job on the Player of the Year in the conference,” Gould said. “She had some points, but it took her 22 shots to get those points; she averages almost 10 three attempts a game…and we held her to two, so I think Carla did a great job on her.”

MIT entered the game on a five-game win streak, but the momentum wasn’t apparent as Emerson was able to create difficulties at the beginning of the game. The Engineers scored the first points of the game, but not long after, sophomore guard Olivia Deslauriers put the Lions on the board with a three-pointer. 

The first quarter stayed close with sophomore guard Ella Bushee helping the Lions lead 16-11, but before the quarter was over MIT moved back on top 19-18 following a free throw by Antonakakis. Bushee and Deslauriers combined for 15 of the Lions’ 18 second-quarter points.

The second quarter proved a slow start for both teams, but the Engineers found some success on free throws and a jump shot which led to a 25-18 lead. Emerson didn’t score until nearly four minutes into the quarter from a layup by Pelino. With the two sides trading shots, two three-pointers from first-year guard Bianca Benson set the Lions ahead in the exchange. Right before the first half was over, MIT sank a buzzer-beater three and went up 36-30.

The second half began to lean toward the Engineers— a shift Gould credited to MIT’s defensive adjustments. 

“They figured out a little bit of how to adjust to what we were doing defensively,” Gould said.  “When you play a team that’s really good, sometimes you have to get a little lucky and in the second half, they kind of had some answers.”

MIT opened the third quarter attacking from the paint, scoring three layups. While the Engineers were attempting to pull away, Bushee scored four free throws and Deslauriers put up a three making the score 48-39, MIT on top. 

The fourth quarter went similarly, with the Lions coming within five points, but MIT stood their ground. Emerson trailed 69-59 as time ran out.

Gould said there were many positives to take away from the performance, one of them being the improvement of the team. Deslauriers and Bushee shot season-high totals of 19 and 18 points. 

Emerson’s next match is against Clark University. The Lions look to put themselves back in the win column and hope to put themselves in a good position for the final stretch of the season. 

“Clark is the game that we’re focused on,” Gould said. “We are going to go over Clark and we’re going to try to win a game, and I think if we can beat Clark, that’ll give us a really good shot to make conference playoffs.”

The Lions won against Clark on Wednesday 68-64 which was led by Deslauriers in another season high scoring performance—26 points.