Worcester, MA --- The WPI women's basketball team got 17 points from top scorer Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) as the Engineers held off non-conference foe Anna Maria 51-43 in their final home tilt of the calendar year on Thursday night.
WPI started to pull away late in the first half, leading by double digits for most of the second half. Davis gave the hosts their largest lead, 44-26 with 8:48 to go. The junior's total matched her season-high from November 23 against Clark.
Six-foot freshman Tess Nogueira (Merrimac, MA) and senior captain Kelly Morgan (Brookline, NH) also energized the home side. Nogueira finished with a versatile eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Morgan had nine points on three 3-pointers. Nogueira went 4-for-5 from the floor and spearheaded a WPI bench effort that saw the Crimson and Gray reserves outscore their Anna Maria counterparts 17-2.
The pesky AMCATS rallied late with help from Trafficia Warburton (Worcester, MA), Katie Pryor (Northbridge, MA) and Taylor Walker (Winchendon, MA). Warburton matched Davis'17 points, while Pryor and Walker each had 11. Warburton also had nine rebounds, while Pryor and Walker both pulled in seven.
Deja Taitt (Jamaica, NY) opened scoring for the AMCATS two minutes in with a jumper, but an early 2-0 edge was the last lead the visitors would hold.
Davis scored five straight points to make it 7-2 WPI following a 3-pointer with 13:32 left in the first half.
It was a game of spurts as Nogueira had the Engineers next three baskets, and then sophomore Yasmeen Luna (North Providence, RI) followed with jumpers on consecutive possessions to make it 17-8 WPI with 8:47 to go in the half.
WPI responded to five straight points by Anna Maria with back-to-back 3-pointers by Morgan stretching it back to 23-13 late in the first half.
The hosts led, 30-17, at the intermission after Jessica Larsen (San Diego, CA) beat the halftime buzzer with a 3 from the left elbow.
The AMCATS closed it to single digits, 34-26, with 15:24 left to play as Warburton hit a jumper for her eighth point of the second half.
WPI would follow with its biggest run of the game, scoring 10 straight points, including six from Davis. Anna Maria responded with its own 13-0 rally, though, closing it to 44-39 with 3:11 remaining before Morgan drained a clutch trey,
Warburton and Taylor scored all 13 points for AMC during its second half push.
WPI played its final game of 2013 at Harrington Auditorium, but isn't done for the remainder of December just yet, as they'll head west to play in the Posada Royale Tournament out in Thousand Oaks, CA, starting on December 29.
The Engineers have scheduled games against the UC-Santa Cruz and tournament host Cal Lutheran.
They'll begin a stretch of 16 straight NEWMAC games to close out the regular season on Saturday, January 4 at Smith.
Anna Maria will resume on Saturday at 1 p.m. away to Elms.
Release by Carl Setterlund - WPI Athletics Intern - Emerson '14
Click HERE if the videos do not appear below.