Northampton, MA --- Lauren Hannmann (East Greenbush, NY) and Theresa Logan (Southboro, MA) each tossed in 14 points and Elle Fontaine (Franklin, MA) notched a double-double as visiting WPI dealt Smith a 58-53 defeat in the NEWMAC women's basketball conference opener for both teams on Wednesday night.
Smith (3-3) had rallied from a seven point second half deficit to pull within one, but the Engineers (3-2) scored five of the final six points, including three free throws in the last 38 seconds, to seal the win.
The Pioneers opened up an early 6-2 lead on a fast break layup by Devon Quattrocchi at the 18:35 mark, but the Engineers went on a 11-4 run capped by consecutive three pointers from Fontaine and Melissa Kuhn (Stoughton, MA) to take a 13-10 lead. Another three from Kelly Morgan (Brookline, NH) boosted the WPI lead to 16-12 at the 11:40 mark, but Sydney Parkmond's conventional three point play put Smith back in front by one with 9:30 left in the opening half.
WPI took a 30-24 lead into halftime when they scored eight points in the final three minutes, including a jumper by Siena Mamayek (Melrose, MA) that gave WPI a 30-22 lead, only to see Jessica Welk set up Amanda Zakoske for a jumper with five seconds left in the half.
Smith, down by as many as seven early in the second half, tightened their grip on the game to tie the score at 42 on a jumper by Lizzy BelBruno at the 6:42 mark. WPI then scored six straight points for a 48-42 lead, only to see a scoop shot from Marissa Munoz-Ruiz cut the lead to 53-52 with 1:03 remaining. After Logan's jumper with 38 seconds left put WPI up 55-52, BelBruno missed a three with 16 seconds left that would have tied the game. Baillie McNally (Mapleville, MA) then hit three of four foul shots in the final 10 seconds to salt away the win.
BelBruno and Zakoske each had 13 points to lead the Pioneers. Rosa Drummond and Devon Quattrocchi each had seven boards. Logan and Hannmann scored 14 points apiece to lead all scorers. Fontaine recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, her 10th career double-double.
Smith will look for their first conference win when they host Babson this Saturday at 2pm. WPI will host cross-town rival Clark, also on Saturday at 2pm.