Las Vegas, NV --- The WPI women's basketball team hung with top-ranked Amherst for the opening 11:30 Thursday afternoon but the defending national champions used huge runs to close the first half and to open the second stanza to defeat the Engineers 109-39.
The game was played at the South Point Resort as part of the D3hoops.com Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada. The results drops WPI to 3-8 while Amherst, winners of 74 of its last 76 games overall, is 10-0 this season.
WPI held Amherst to one field goal during a five minute span midway through the first half that saw the Engineers embark upon a 7-2 run to slice a 10-point deficit to a 22-17 game with 8:30 to go before the break. The Lord Jeffs then scored 35 of the final 40 points of the half and the first 19 after intermission to pull away.
Theresa Logan (Southboro, MA) tossed in all of her team-best nine points for WPI in the first half and paced all Crimson and Gray players with seven rebounds. Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) had six points while Lauren Hannmann (East Greenbush, NY) and Siena Mamayek (Melrose, MA) both contributed five.
Caroline Stedman (Walpole, MA), Lem Atanga McCormick (Chicago, IL) and Jasmine Hardy (Meriden, NH) highlighted six Amherst scorers in double figures with 17 points each, including the 1,000 career point for McCormick. Kim Fiorentino (Holmdel, NJ) chipped in with 13 points while Shannon Finucane (Cortland, NY) and Jackie Renner (Newton, MA) registered 12 and 11 respectively.
Amherst shot an eye-popping 63.9% (23-of-36) in the first half and 56.9% for the game. The Lord Jeffs drained 13-of-27 3-pointers and did not allow a made 3-pointer against them on the day.
WPI now turns its attention back to NEWMAC action. The Engineers head to city-rival Clark on Wednesday, January 4th for a 7pm conference match-up. Amherst opens up NESCAC play on Saturday, January 6th when they host Little Three rival Wesleyan at 6pm.