Boston, MA --- Siena Mamayek (Melrose, MA) amassed 13 points and five rebounds and Amaia Gritsko (Milford, CT) contributed six points and five steals to lead WPI to an important 55-47 NEWMAC road victory over Emerson on Wednesday evening.
WPI improves to 9-13, with an in-conference record of 7-10. The Engineers are a game ahead of MIT and Clark for the seventh and final NEWMAC tournament spot with three games to go. Emerson is now 8-14 on the season, and 4-13 in NEWMAC play.
The WPI defense started strong, forcing four Emerson turnovers on its first five possessions and getting four points from Gristsko and buckets by Mamayek and Yasmeen Luna (North Providence, RI) en route to an earn 8-2 lead.
Coming off the bench, Emerson rookie Elizabeth Horan (Ashland, MA) made three 3-pointers, scoring nine points in the first half. Catherine Cloutier (Methuen, MA), who totaled 12 points, was deadly in the paint, driving inside for eight points, including a second chance layup with 3:57 to play in the first half, giving the Lions' a 25-13 lead.
WPI ended the half with eight straight points, including a pair of Haili Welton (Southbury, CT) trifecta to slide the deficit to 25-21 at the break.
The Crimson and Gray perimeter defense stiffened in the second half, not allowing a 3-pointer after intermission. After seeing the game tied at 33-33 with 13:49 left, Engineers went on a 9-0 spurt, highlighted by a tradional 3-point play from Kelly Morgan (Brookline, NH) to grab a lead they would not relinquish.
With 1:55 left to play, Kelsey Johnson (Syracuse, NY) drained a jumper to cut the WPI lead to 50-45. However, the Engineers responded on their next offensive possession, with Mamayek making a layup and drawing a foul, creating a 3-point play, effectively ending the game.
Kristin Brice (Indiana, PA) came alive in the second half for EC after being shutout in the first, scoring six points and making key blocks on defense.
Both teams are back in action Saturday. WPI hosts Wellesley at 2pm while Mount Holyoke at 1pm.
Poritions of release courtesy Emerson Sports Information