Leicester, MA --- Tournament MVP Theresa Logan (Southboro, MA) scored a team-high 12 points and brought down six rebounds and point guard Baillie McNally (Mapleville, RI) equaled her career-high with 11 points and doled out a game-best six assists to help WPI defeat Worcester State 53-46 in the championship game of the 2011 Worcester City Women's Basketball Tournament hosted at Becker.
The victory gives the Engineers (2-1) their fifth title in the 33-year history of the event and consecutive tournament crowns for the first time in 25 years (1985 and 1986). Worcester State is now 1-2.
WPI jumped out to a 12-4 advantage, led by McNally who had a basket and three free throws in the opening minutes. The Lancers would rally cutting the lead down to one at 14-13 after a jumper by Kara Rogers (Lowell, MA). The defensive battle would continue into halftime with WPI leading 23-18.
As the second half got under way, the Engineers quickly increased their lead with jumpers by Lauren Hannmann (East Greenbush, NY) and Kelly Morgan (Brookline, NH), going up 28-18. The Lancers made rallies throughout the period, coming within four on a layup by El-Qasem midway through the half with WPI leading 34-30. With 5:19 remaining in the game, WPI's Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) hit a huge three-pointer to extend the Engineer lead to eight, 45-37. Worcester State would immediately answer as Meghan Keohane (Mansfield, MA) completed a three point play to pull her team to within five, 45-40.
Like two tired heavyweights entering the final round, both teams exchanged shots and great defensive plays down the stretch. A critical flurry came with 1:24 remaining and WPI leading 49-44 when the Worcester State press forced a turnover in the backcourt. Logan swept in to block a layup by El-Qasem, quickly securing the rebound and then drawing a foul. Down by six with 19 seconds remaining, the Lancers' Cheyenne Jennings (Worcester, MA) missed a three point shot and Worcester State was forced to foul, putting the game out of reach for the Lancers.
Logan also had two steals, two assists and a key block for the Engineers of WPI while Hannmann had a great overall effort, finishing with seven points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists.
For Worcester State, Kaleigh Charette (Fairhaven, MA) led all scorers with 20 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Shannen El-Qasem (Rutland, MA) contributed ten points, four rebounds and two steals. Meaghan Burns (West Brookfield, MA) finished with eight points and five rebounds while
Logan was named MVP of the tournament while Hannmann was named to the all-tournament team. Burns and Charette both earned all-tournament honors for Worcester State. Also name to the team were Samantha Ashton (Worcester, MA) of Anna Maria and Chelsea Joubert (Westboro, MA) of Becker. Earlier in the day, the AMCATS held off a fierce Becker rally to claim a 80-73 victory in the consolation game.
Up next, WPI will play host to Connecticut College at 5:30pm on Tuesday, November 22nd. Worcester State will entertain UMass Dartmouth, also on Tuesday.
Release Courtesy Becker Sports Information