Mendez Keys Women's Basketball Rally as WPI Claims 13th Consecutive Victory

Lisa Mendez

New London, CT ---Senior Lisa Mendez (Yonkers, NY) spearheaded  a 10-0 second half run as WPI remained unbeaten in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play and won its 13th traight beating Coast Guard 58-45.

Mendez had back-to-back old fashion 3-point plays in the final 45 seconds of the third quarter turning a 31-29 deficit into a 35-31 lead after three.

Mendez's six points at the end of the quarter sparked a 10-0 run into the fourth quarter as WPI took a 41-31 lead on a basket by sophomore Maura Buckley (Melrose, MA) with 8:33 left in the game. Coast Guard would get no closer than six the rest of the way.

WPI improves to 15-1 overall and 7-0 in the NEWMAC while the Bears saw their four-game win streak snapped dropping to 8-6 overall and 5-2 in the conference.

Sophomore Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) led WPI with 14 points, Mendez had 11 points and Buckley also finished with 11 points. The Engineers shot 33.9 percent (20-59) and missed all ten from behind the arc.

Senior Meghan Fornaro (Charlton, MA) had a game-high 25 points and a career-high 13 rebounds to lead Coast Guard, which shot 25.4 percent in the loss (15-59) including six of 23 from 3-point range.

Coast Guard turned the ball over 17 times while WPI had just eight turnovers in the win.

In a sluggish first quarter, Fornaro scored the Bears first seven points and Coast Guard led 7-6 with three minutes remaining in the quarter. Both teams struggled shooting in the opening stanza as the Bears were just 3 of 12 and WPI was 5 of 18. The Engineers led 11-9 after the first quarter.

The offensive struggles continued on both sides in the second quarter. The Engineers did open up a 16-11 lead with on a basket by Biney with 5:23 left in the half, but the Bears closed the half on a 9-2 run to take a 20-18 lead at halftime. Fornaro had 16 of the Bears 20 first half points  to go with nine rebounds.

The Bears shot 8 of 27 in the first half (29.6 percent). Fornaro was 6 of 13 and the rest of the team was 2 of 14 in the opening half. WPI was 8 of 30 (26.7 percent) in the first half including 0 for 7 from behind the arc. Coast Guard was just 2 of 12 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.

Buckley jump started the Engineers with four straight to start the second half as  WPI scored five straight for a 23-20 lead.

The Bears would answer with a 7-0 spurt capped on a layup by junior Bekah Muller (Denair, CA) with 4:48 left in the third quarter for a 27-23 lead.

The Bears are back in action on Thursday night in a non-conference game at archrival Merchant Marine at 6pm.  WPI is off until next Saturday when it ventures down Park Ave. to play city rival Clark at 2pm

Release Courtesy Coast Guard Sports Information


A photo posted by WPI Athletics (@wpiathletics) on Jan 16, 2016 at 2:27pm PST