Northampton, MA --- WPI held off host Smith, 59-56, and set the program record for most consecutive wins Wednesday in a NEWMAC women's basketball contest on Senda Berenson Court inside historic Ainsworth Gymnasium.
The Engineers (19-1, 11-0 NEWMAC) have now won a school record 17 straight games, while Smith dips to 7-13 overall and 4-8 in conference play.
Erin Hanley's (San Francisco, CA) layup gave the Pioneers a 14-10 lead with 1:02 in the first quarter but Stasha Greenalch (Newington, CT) put her team up 15-14 on a jumper and three-pointer at the buzzer.
The Engineers closed out the second on a 5-0 run to go into halftime with a 34-27 lead.
Lauren Bondi (Burnaby, British Columbia) drained a three-pointer to open the second half followed by a Kennedy Guest-Pritchett (Fairburn, GA) layup as the home team came within 34-32 in the opening minute. Lisa Mendez's (Yonkers, NY) 3-point bucket sparked a 13-0 run by the visitors to take a 51-37 lead going into the closing quarter.
The Pioneers would not go away as Amanda Barriscale's (Mill Valley, CA) three-point play to open the fourth quarter jumpstarted the Smith comeback. Two more free throws from Barriscale capped a 10-0 run by the home team as the visitors held a 52-50 lead with 3:05 remaining.
Maura Buckley (Melrose, MA) nailed a jumper with 53 seconds on the clock to give her team a 57-53 lead but Bondi responded with a trey to come within 57-56. Greenalch drove the lane and drained a layup with four seconds on the clock to put WPI up 59-56. Bondi had a chance to tie the game but her three-point attempt fell short at the buzzer.
Greenalch came off the bench to score 18 points with six boards to pace WPI, while Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, RI) added 10 points and Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) finished with nine points and five rebounds.
A trio of Pioneers finished in double figures led by 12 apiece from Bondi and Barriscale. Bondi added two steals and two rebounds, while Barriscale grabbed seven boards. Guest-Pritchett produced 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Pioneers held a 34-29 advantage on the boards as the hosts shot 35.7 percent (20-for-56) from the field and 35.3 percent (6-for-17) from three-point range. WPI went 21-of-54 from the field and 5-of-15 from behind-the-arc.
The Engineers return home to host Springfield Saturday at 2pm on Senior Day. Smith is on the road the next four games, beginning with a 2pm tip-off Saturday at MIT.
Release Courtesy Smith Sports Information