Fitchburg, MA --- The WPI Women's Basketball team pushed its overall record to 8-1 by winning its sixth consecutive game Tuesday night in a 73-19 non-conference road victory at Fitchburg State.
The Engineers opened the scoring on their first possession, as senior guard Yasmeen Luna (East Providence, RI) put back a missed shot for two, while sophomore forward Michaela McTomney (Bellingham, MA) responded with a put-back of her own to level the score at 2-2.
The Falcons defense would hold firm, only conceding a free throw from sophomore guard Stasha Greenalch (Newington, CT) over the next five minutes, while junior guard Melissa Guglielmello (Paxton, MA) converted a layup gave the Falcons a 4-3 advantage.
The Engineers bounced back with eight points in a row from four different players to put the visitors up 11-4. But the Falcons were able to answer as senior forward Erika Schneider (Rockland, MA) was able to sink a 25-footer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 11-7 through one quarter of play
The Engineers took control of the contest in the second quarter, scoring all 20 points in the frame. Of note was junior guard Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, RI), scoring seven of her 11 points by sinking three shots in a row. The Falcons were able to get off ten shots in the quarter, but were unable to respond, as WPI went into halftime with a 31-7 lead.
After the break, WPI continued their run, recording the first six points of the half before the Green and Gold broke a 14-minute scoring drought with two free throws from freshman guard Hannah Keohan (Lunenburg, MA).
From there, the Falcons were able to balance out the half with threes from Guglielmello and sophomore guard Holly Wentworth (Oakland, ME), while junior forward Tess Nogueira (Merrimac, MA) and senior guard Lisa Mendez (Yonkers, MA) each tallied four points in the quarter for the Engineers, helping to lead them to a 51-17 lead through three quarters.
The visitors finished off the game strong, outscoring the hosts 22-2 in the quarter, with freshmen Sofia Giansiracusa (Wethersfield, CT), Jackie Panneton (Salem, MA), and Marlies de Jong (Huntington Beach, CA) all finding their way into the scorebook for WPI.
The defense shined again for the Engineers in the fourth, as the Falcons were held to just two points on free throws from Guglielmello and freshman guard Samantha Holey (Lynn, MA), leading to the final score of 73-19.
Leading the Falcons offensively was Guglielmello, who registered eight points to go along with six boards. Fifteen different players scored for WPI, with Dunphy leading all scorers with 11 points. Sophomore forward Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) also had a strong game for the Engineers, recording ten points and seven steals.
Overall, Fitchburg State shot 6-for-35 (17.1%) from the field, while connecting on all three of their attempts from beyond the arc. The Engineers shot 27-for-61 (44.3%) overall, while going 15-of-26 (57.7%) from the charity stripe. The turnover battle was key to WPI's stout defense, as they forced 36 turnovers to the Falcons 14.
Fitchburg State (0-11) will be off until 2016, when they'll head up Route 12 to take on the Owls of Keene State on Monday, January 4th at 6 p.m. WPI will be back in action on December 20th, when they'll take on the King's College Lady Monarchs as part of the Daytona Beach Shootout at noon
Release courtesy of Fitchburg State senior Daniel Beaulac