Worcester, MA --- Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) scored 17 points and forced overtime with a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left in regulation as WPI defeated Clark 62-59 in a NEWMAC women's basketball showdown on Saturday afternoon in Harrington Auditorium.
The win helped the Engineers (2-2, 1-1 NEWMAC) avenge a 60-42 loss to the Cougars (2-2, 0-2 NEWMAC) in the Worcester City Tournament title game just one week ago.
Trailing 47-35 with 5:53 remaining in regulation, Davis sparked an 18-6 run to close regulation with her first 3-pointer of the game and followed up with a jumper 47 seconds later. The spurt also saw Rachel Pineda (Shrewsbury, MA) score six points and Davis force the extra session on a on a 21-footer from the right wing. Moments earlier, Ashleigh Condon (Hull, MA) pushed the Cougars lead to 53-50 with 16.1 showing on the scoreboard with a pair of freebies.
Siena Mamayek (Melrose, MA) hit a layup with 3:07 left in the extra session and then Esther Cohn (Chapel Hill, NC) answered with a 3-pointer for the only Clark advantage of the OT session. A Tess Nogueira (Merrimac, MA) layup put the Crimson and Gray ahead 57-56 as the hosts took the lead for good. Pineda, who was 8-for-8 on day at the charity stripe, pushed the advantage back to three at 62-59 with 7.7 seconds remaining while strong Crimson and Gray defense did not allow the Cougars to attempt at a 3-pointer to tie the game.
In the first half, Clark scored six consecutive points following a jumper by Mamayek and held its largest lead of the game courtesy of a jumper by Megan Grondin (Cumberland, MA) 2:50 into the contest. The Engineers then went on a 7-3 run to take their biggest advantage at 13:06. The outburst was highlighted by a pair of buckets by Amaia Gritsko (Milford, CT) and capped by a Nogueira jumper with 13:06 left in the frame.
After a trio of ties, Pineda gave the hosts its final lead of regulation on a pair of free throws with 1:36 before the break. Condon, who had 12 of the Cougars 23 points in the half, then drilled a triple with 39 ticks left to send the Cougars into the break ahead 23-21.
The guests began to pull away after the intermission and held a 12 point lead at the 8:33 mark courtesy of an Emily Reilly (Marlboro, MA) layup and a pair of free throws by Arethea Sullivan (Worcester, MA) prior to the Engineer run to close out regulation.
Davis finished with 17 points while Pineda and Mamayek dropped 12 and 11 respectively for the Engineers. Jessica Larsen (San Diego, CA) corralled a team-best eight boards - five offensive - as Kelly Morgan (Brookline, NH) doled out a quartet of assists and Gritsko swatted away four shots.
Condon scored 16 points while Reilly narrowly missed a double-double with 14 points and nine boards. Brooke Brennan (Weston, MA) pitched in with 10 points and Sullivan went 5-for-5 from the free throw line.
The Engineers outscored Clark 13-1 in second chance points and 13-10 in points off turnovers while the Cougars held a 22-16 advantage in the paint.
WPI is off until the after the Thanksgiving break, when they conclude a three-game home stand by hosting Springfield at 7pm on Wednesday, December 4th. Clark is back on the court on Tuesday, traveling to South Hadley for a 5:30pm match-up with Mount Holyoke.
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