Game of the Week: Yuan’s Jumper Lifts Engineers Over Coast Guard

A baseline jumper by Clara J. Yuan ’09 with 7.2 seconds on the clock helped lift MIT to a 47-45 victory over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference women’s basketball game on Saturday. With the win, the Engineers improved to 9-9 on the year and 2-5 in conference play, while the Bears (14-3), previously on a school-record seven game winning streak, suffered its first NEWMAC loss of the season.

Coast Guard came out strong, building a 14-5 lead after only seven minutes with Melissa Martinelli scoring the first 11 points for Coast Guard. MIT countered with a 13-5 run, and the teams entered halftime with Coast Guard leading 25-20.

MIT opened the second half well, closing the gap to one on three different occasions. With around six minutes left in the game, Kimberly E. Soo Hoo ’08 drained a three-pointer to give the Engineers the lead. After Coast Guard evened the contest at 41, MIT went ahead again with 2:20 left to play on consecutive baskets off of Bears’ turnovers.

The Bears came back to tie the score with a pair of lay-ups, leaving 1:08 left on the clock. Each side had a chance to take the lead until a Coast Guard turnover gave MIT the ball with 25 seconds left. Soo Hoo, MIT’s all-time career assists leader, found Yuan for the eventual game-winning shot, prompting a timeout by the Bears.

With 7.2 seconds left on the clock, the Bears still had time for another shot. Since the Engineers still had three fouls to give, they alertly fouled on the inbounds pass and lowered the clock to 5.7 seconds. On Coast Guard’s next inbounds attempt, Yuan immediately tied up Natalie Moyer resulting in a jumpball in favor of MIT with only 1.2 seconds to go. The Engineers easily inbounded the ball and held on for the win.

Samia A. Mahjub G and Alice S. Yeh ’09 each scored eight points for MIT as Sally W. Simpson ’10, Kelsey K. Cappelle ’11, and Soo Hoo each finished with seven points. Cappelle led the Engineers with 10 rebounds to go along with four assists while Soo Hoo registered a game-high eight assists. Cheryl M. Kwinn ’09 grabbed six boards and Yuan impressed on defense, snagging four steals.

Why this is the game of the week?

Facing one of the top teams in their conference, the women’s basketball team came through in the clutch with a last second basket and solid defense. After allowing Martinelli to score the Bears’ first 11 points, the team didn’t panic and held NEWMAC’s second highest scorer to only 19 points.