Wellesley, MA --- The Wellesley College women's basketball team held visiting WPI to its lowest offensive output of the season, handing the Engineers a 56-38 loss in NEWMAC action on Saturday afternoon. The win evens the Blue's season record to 6-6, with a 5-3 record in the NEWMAC. WPI fell to 9-5 overall, 5-3 in the NEWMAC with the loss.
Wellesley used strong defense to hold the visitors to under 36% from the field, while allowing just 19 points in each half. The Blue's offense saw three players in double-figures, while a 12-0 run early in the second half gave Wellesley the spark it needed to seal the victory.
Junior Leslie Leong led all players with 13 points and nine rebounds, while also grabbing four steals for the Blue. Senior Ashleigh Sargent picked up 12 points and five rebounds, while sophomore Morgyne Weaver recorded 10 points and five boards. Rounding out the Wellesley leaders, first-year Chelsi Scott had nine points, while senior Malia Maier collected eight assists, six points and four steals in the win.
Sophomore Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) paced WPI with 11 points, including shooting 50% (3-6) from beyond the arc. Senior Cindy Chelius (Northfield, NJ) recorded nine points, while junior Kelly Morgan (Brookline, NH) added eight. Wrapping up the leaders for the Engineers, senior Theresa Logan (Southboro, MA) pulled down seven rebounds, while sophomore Rachel Pineda (Shrewsbury, MA) distributed four assists.
The game was tight throughout the first half, with four ties and three lead changes. Wellesley opened a slight 12-8 edge midway through the action, backed by four points each from Weaver and Scott. WPI then got back-to-back buckets from Chelius and Logan to tie the game at 12-12 with seven minutes to the break. The Blue surged ahead right before halftime, taking a three-point lead at 22-19, which included a buzzer-beater from sophomore Courtney Jackson.
At the half, Wellesley was led by Scott, Jackson and Leong, who each had five points, while WPI's Davis led the Engineers with eight. Both teams were hampered by shooting woes, with WPI shooting 40% (8-20), while Wellesley was just 9-27 from the field (33%).
After the teams traded buckets to open the second half, Wellesley went on a 12-0 run to build a 15-point lead, setting the score to 36-21 with 15:58 to play. The Blue's run was sparked by six points from Sargent and five from Leong, including a conventional three-point play.
WPI righted the ship after Wellesley's run, hitting three straight shots from beyond the arc, to cut the Blue advantage to eight (38-30) with 13:48 on the clock. Davis, Morgan and Chelius connected for threes during the stretch.
Despite their lead being cut in half, Wellesley held strong and allowed WPI to get no closer than their eight-point deficit. The Blue turned things around again, closing out the half on a 17-8 run, as Leong added five more points for the Blue to cement the 56-38 victory.
Both teams are now tied for third the NEWMAC and resume play on Wednesday evening at 7:00pm. Wellesley will travel to Coast Guard, while WPI heads to Smith.
Release Courtesy Wellesley Sports Information