Worcester, MA --- Siena Mamayek (Melrose, MA) posted her first career double-double and Kelly Morgan (Brookline, NH) came through with several key baskets as WPI's two seniors drove the women's basketball team to one of its best results of the season, a 55-45 win over Wellesley on Senior Day at Harrington Auditorium.
Mamayek totaled 14 points and 12 rebounds, including five offensive boards, and also shot 6-of-9 on the afternoon. Junior Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) led all scorers with 17 points, netting 11 in the second half, including a 6-for-6 day at the foul line. Morgan finished third on the team with eight points, but had two important 3-pointers in the first half.
WPI (10-13) improved to 8-10 in the NEWMAC and retained seventh-place position in the conference standings, keeping the Engineers in line for the final spot in the NEWMAC Tournament. Wellesley fell to 14-8 and 11-7 in-conference.
Leslie Leong (Sacramento, CA) hit a 3 on the game's opening shot, setting the tone for the opening stretch as Wellesley led through the first 13:38 of the game.
Leong, a senior captain, carried the torch for the visiting Blue, leading them in points (13), rebounds (12), steals (5) and assists (4).
Morgyne Weaver (Oklahoma City, OK) also posted a noteworthy stat line with 10 points, five boards, four assists and three steals, while going 6-of-6 at the line.
Leong would stretch it to 9-2 on a free throw 7:29 in, but the Engineers broke out of their slow start on free throws by Mamayek the next trip down.
That started a 9-2 run of WPI's own as Morgan hit from long-distance to tie it at 11-11 with 9:15 remaining in the first half.
Wellesley's sent the Blue back in front, hitting free throws on the next trip down, but the hosts scrapped and battled to their first lead of the game, 17-15 with 4:57 left before the half on a hoop by sophomore Jessica Larsen (San Diego, CA).
That put WPI ahead for good as the hosts capped an 11-0 rally over a span of 6:20 with Morgan's second 3, stretching it to 22-15 with three minutes to go in the first half. The Engineers added the final four points of the opening period on baskets by Tess Nogueira (Merrimac, MA) and Davis to set the score at 28-19.
Nogueira and Amaia Gritsko (Milford, CT) were both quiet on offense, but combined for 15 rebounds as the WPI dominated the Blue on the boards, 49 to 28.
Weaver opened the second half scoring, but Mamayek got inside for layups on consecutive possessions, followed by free throws from Morgan and then a Davis jumper to shut the door on Wellesley, taking a 36-21 lead 2:07 out of halftime.
WPI held Wellesley to 29 percent shooting, which helped the hosts maintain a double-digit lead the rest of the way, stretching it as high as 22 points, 51-29, after foul shots by Jackie DeCristoforo (North Kingstown, RI) with 6:50 to play.
Freshman Ailis Hanley (Cranston, RI) contributed nine points and got the visitors going on a 9-0 run as the Blue scored 16 of the final 20 points.
WPI has now won back-to-back games and will look to make it a streak in their final home game, their Play4Kay game against Coast Guard at 5:30pm Wednesday in the front end of a men and women's doubleheader. Play4Kay is a national movement of cancer awareness games, which raise money for they Kay Yow Cancer Fund in honor of the NC State women's late Hall of Fame coach. Wellesley will try to snap a five-game losing streak on the road Wednesday at 7pm at Wheaton.
Release by Carl Setterlund - WPI Athletics Intern - Emerson '14
See below for the post-game interview. If the video does not work, click HERE.