Worcester, MA --- MELISSA KUHN (Stoughton, MA) tallied a season-best 18 points as the WPI women's basketball team drained its first eight second half 3-point attempts to rally for a 56-47 win over visiting Smith in a NEWMAC conference match-up on Wednesday evening.
The victory was WPI's ninth in a row and gives the Engineers their longest winning streak in 15 years and tied for the third longest in program history. WPI is now 14-3 overall and 10-1 in conference play while Smith slips to 9-8 on the season and 6-5 in NEWMAC action.
Trailing 20-15 at half, the Crimson and Gray connected on a trio of 3-pointers, including a pair by Kuhn sandwiched between one from THERESA LOGAN (Southboro, MA), in the opening 2:36 of the second stanza to take a lead they would not relinquish.
The barrage of trifectas came after the hosts missed all three of their first half attempts. The only misfire from downtown after intermission came with 36 seconds left in the contest when ROSA DRUMMOND (Rye, NH) blocked a hurried attempt to beat the shot clock.
LAUREN HANNMANN (East Greenbush, NY) tossed in 12 points and nine rebounds for the Engineers, narrowly missing her third double-double of the season. Logan chipped in with nine points and five rebounds while ELLE FONTAINE (Franklin, MA) shook off an off shooting night by grabbing seven rebounds (all defensive) to go along with six points. Kuhn added to her strong game with three rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.
WPI got a boost from its bench as the freshman duo of SIENA MAMAYEK (Melrose, MA) and CALLIE KING (Londonderry, NH) registered seven and four points respectively.
Smith was paced offensively by AMANDA ZAKOSKE (Jacksonville, FL), who notched a team-high 13 points. DEVON QUATTROCCHI (Brewster, NY) filled the stat sheet for the Pioneers with nine points, three assists and three steals while ELLIE GILES (Charlottesville, VA) aided the effort off the bench with eight points, seven rebounds and a game-best four blocks.
The visitors used defense to jump out to the first half lead, holding the Engineers to just 21.7% shooting from the floor during the opening 20 minutes of play. Buoyed by its success from behind the 3-point line, WPI shot a sizzling 65.0% after the break.
WPI is back in action on Saturday, traveling down Park Ave. to take on city rival Clark at 1pm. Smith concludes a four-game road the same day, traveling to Babson for a 2pm contest.
-- MERC --