Westfield, MA --- Tournament MVP Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) scored 11 of her 17 points in a decisive second half to lead WPI to a 72-48 win over host Westfield State in the Westfield State Holiday Tournament at the Woodward Center on Tuesday afternoon.
WPI trailed 11-7 with 10:09 left in the first half after a layup by Westfield sophomore guard Kirsy Segarra (Holyoke, MA), but the Engineers responded with a 26-8 spurt over the next eight minutes to lead 33-19 after a Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) three pointer with 1:49 to play in the half.
With WPI threatening to pull away, Segarra drained a three-pointer and a jumper for the Owls before the half to keep Westfield State within nine, 33-24 at the break.
Westfield State chipped away at the Engineers lead early in the second half, as Westfield cut the lead down to as few as six on two occasions, the last at 13:44 on three pointer by senior guard Jen Ashton (Beverly, MA), which cut the lead to 42-36. Ashton scored eight of her team-high 14 in that early second-half stretch.
From there, the Engineers rolled. A three-pointer from Lisa Mendez (Yonkers, NY), a layup from Jessica Larsen (Poway, CA) and a three-pointer from Biney on the next three trips extended the lead to 14.
Biney, a freshman who did not play in WPI's first round win, wreaked havoc on the Owls in the second half. She finished 6-10 from the floor, 3-3 from three point range, and garnered two steals and an assist without a turnover in just 18 minutes of play.
Mendez finished with 12 points on 3-4 shooting from downtown. Nine players scored four or more points for the Engineers with Larson and point guard Rachel Pineda (Shrewsbury, MA) each registering nine.
WPI, which improves to 8-2 on the season, notched 22 assists on 28 made baskets with eight different players collecting multiple helpers. Davis grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, nine off the defensive glass.
Westfield falls to 6-4 with the loss. The Owls got 12 points and eight rebounds from Jill Valley (Orange, MA) and 10 from Segarra, who netted all of her points in the first half.
Westfield State will be back in action on Friday afternoon, January 2, with a 5:30 game at the University of St. Joseph in Hartford, CT. WPI is back at home the following day, hosting Simmons at 2pm Saturday.
Release and Photos Courtesy Westfield State Sports Information
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