Bench Catapults Women's Basketball Past Smith for 12th Consecutive Triumph

Tess Nogueira (Photo: Ryan Walsh)
Tess Nogueira (Photo: Ryan Walsh)

WORCESTER – WPI's bench outscored Smith 29-7 en route to a 65-48 victory Thursday night in a NEWMAC women's basketball contest in Harrington Auditorium. 

The Engineers (14-1, 6-0 NEWMAC) have now won 12 consecutive games to tie the 1995-96 team for the second longest winning streak in program history while the Pioneers slip to 5-8 on the season and 2-4 in league play. 

Sophomores Madison Beck (Syracuse, NY) and Stasha Greenalch (Newington, CT) led the way for the Crimson and Gray bench with eight points apiece. Junior Sarah Rogers (Colchester, CT) pitched in with five as seniors Lisa Mendez (Yonkers, NY) and Haili Welton (Southbury, CT) contributed three each. Rookie Jackie Panneton (Salem, MA) also had a pair of points for the hosts.  

Sophomore Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) paced the team with 14 points as senior Yasmeen Luna (North Providence, RI) and junior Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, RI) each added eight and junior Tess Nogueira (Merrimac, MA) tossed in six. Noguiera and Dunphy combined for 15 boards, with eight and seven respectively, to go along with two blocks and an assist by senior Jessica Larsen (Poway, CA). Sophomore Brittney Lambert (Hudson, NH) chipped in with an assist and a board as classmate Maura Buckley (Melrose, MA) and freshman Sofia Giansiracusa (Wethersfield, CT) each tallied a block. Noguira and Dunphy accounted for half of the Engineers eight steals. 

Smith sophomore Samantha Alakai (Pukalani, HI) totaled a game-best 18 points and added six rebounds. Freshman Kennedy Guest-Pritchett (Fairburn, GA) scored 11 points and pulled down a team-best eight caroms. Sophomore Amanda Barriscale (Mid Valley, CA) collected seven rebounds as classmate Meghan Holland (Atherton, CA) chipped in with seven points. 

Holland canned the first bucket of the game for the Pioneers only lead of the night. From there WPI went on a 17-5 run, including four each from Beck and Biney, to take the 17-7 lead with 1:01 left in the opening stanza. 

The Engineers lead ballooned to 18 following a Dunphy jumper at 6:31 in the second. Smith cut it to 12 with an 8-2 spurt as Guest-Pritchett accounted for the first six and freshman Lauren Bondi (Burnaby, British Columbia) topped it off with a layup with 3:05 until the intermission. 

After the break, Smith was unable to get the margin below 13 early in the third and 15 in the fourth while WPI held advantages as high as 22 in the third and 23 in the fourth. Alakai closed out the game with a personal 8-2 run which featured consecutive triples less than 45 seconds apart. 

In addition to the cushion in the bench points, the Engineers led all the other categories including points in the paint (40-16) and points off turnovers (18-10), as well as fast break points (8-2) and second chance points (11-8). 

WPI kicks off a three-game road trip Saturday at 3pm when it travels to New London, CT to face Coast Guard.  Smith plays the middle contest of a three-game road string on Saturday at 1pm versus Wheaton.  

 

A photo posted by WPI Athletics (@wpiathletics) on Jan 14, 2016 at 5:38pm PST