Smith's Second Stanza Shooting Surge Sinks Women's Basketball

Amaia Gritsko

Worcester, MA --- Rosa Drummond (Rye, NH) led all scorers with 19 points to help Smith to a 74-57 win at WPI in NEWMAC women's basketball action on Wednesday night at the Harrington Auditorium. The Pioneers of Smith climb to 11-4 with a 6-3 record in the NEWMAC while the Engineers of WPI fall to 4-12 with a 2-7 conference mark. 

The Pioneers wasted no time in jumping out to a 6-0 lead, capped off by a fast-break layup from Amanda Zakoske (Jacksonville, FL). Using a determined full court press, Smith would go up 18-4 in the opening minutes, led by Drummond who had four quick baskets early on. WPI would rally, however, responding with an 11-0 run including a 3-pointer from Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) and cut the lead to three midway through the opening period. A stiffened Engineer defense held Smith without a field goal for six and a half minutes. The Pioneers would go up by nine again after a steal in the backcourt by Drummond led to an easy basket with 7:34 left in the first half. The Crimson and Gray would continue to fight, pulling to within four on a 3-point play by Cindy Chelius (Northfield, NJ) with two minutes remaining. Davis would hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the period to cut the lead to two, and the teams went into halftime with Smith leading 31-29. Drummond was dominant in the opening period, leading all scorers with 15 points. 

The Pioneers were on fire to open the second half, outscoring the Engineers 10-2 out of the gate to take a ten-point lead just over three minutes in, capped off by a layup from Lizzy BelBruno (Hanover, NH). Despite numerous efforts by WPI to get back in the game, they proved unable to cope with Smith's momentum, as the Pioneers took a 58-39 lead when Paulina Solis (Santa Ana, CA) connected on back-to-back 3-pointers with 10:42 left in the game. Shooting was critical in the second half, as Smith shot 60 percent from the floor and 6-of-10 from downtown, vanquishing all efforts to rally by the host Crimson and Gray.  The Pioneers took a 72-49 lead with 5:03 remaining off a Zakoske layup, and the Engineers would not get within 15 again. 

Drummond's 19 points and seven rebounds proved decisive for Smith, as the sophomore shot 9-of-15 from the floor. Ellie Giles (Charlottesville, VA) put on a defensive show, pulling down seven rebounds with four blocks and four steals. BelBruno added 13 points with five assists. Devon Quattrocchi (Brewster, NY) dished out a game-high six assists to go along with 12 points and a pair of steals. Solis was a key contributor on both ends of the court, coming off the bench to score 12 points while tallying four rebounds and three steals. 

Lauren Hannmann (East Greenbush, NY) led WPI with 12 points, five rebounds and two blocks. Kelly Morgan (Brookline, NH) came off the bench to score ten points while picking off two steals. Amaia Gritsko (Milford, CT) had career-highs in points and rebounds with six each and three blocks.

In a statistical oddity, three Engineers finished with six points and six boards, as Siena Mamayek (Melrose, MA) and Chelius both matched Gritsko's production. Davis added nine points and three steals. 

WPI wraps up a three-game home stand on Saturday, entertaining crosstown rival Clark at 2pm.  Smith is also back on the court Saturday, traveling to Cambridge at 1pm for the middle contest of a three-game road trip. 

Story written by Mike Rupp - WPI Athletics