Bench Brilliant as Women's Basketball Gets Back on Winning Track in Triumph over CGA

Sarah Rogers

WORCESTER – Sophomore Stasha Greenalch (Newington, CT), senior Lisa Mendez (Yonkers, NY) and junior Sarah Rogers (Colchester, CT) combined to score 22 of 25 WPI bench points in a 51-43 home victory over Coast Guard Wednesday night in a NEWMAC women's basketball matchup in Harrington Auditorium.

With the win, the Engineers improve to 21-3 overall and 13-2 in NEWMAC action while the Bears slip to 14-10 on the year and 10-5 in league play.

The hosts opened up with an 8-2 outburst with four each from senior Yasmeen Luna (N. Providence, RI) and Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, RI). Senior Megan Fornaro (Charlton, MA) then scored 12 of Coast Guard's next 14 points in the first as the guests en route to a 16-14 lead after 10 minutes.

Fornaro's jumper at 2:06 in the first gave the Bears the 12-11 advantage while the Engineers took the lead back at the 5:38 mark of the second on a layup by junior Tess Nogueira (Merrimac, MA). Just over a minute later, Greenalch knocked down a long-range three for the 24-22 cushion. Sophomore Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) wrapped up the first half scoring with a layup at 1:17.

After the two squads totaled just eight points in the seven-plus minutes following the break, Mendez and Rogers hit back-to-back triples to give the Engineers a 35-27 margin with 2:20 remaining in the frame. Mendez knocked down another triple in the waning moments of the third for the 40-31 lead.

As they did in the first (16-14), Coast Guard outscored the hosts in the fourth (12-11), this time behind five by senior Torie Sutherland (Houston, TX).

Greenalch led the reserves with 10 points followed by six each by Mendez and Rogers. Dunphy logged an Engineer-best 11 points while Biney totaled seven and Luna chipped in with six. Biney pulled down a team-best seven rebounds to go with five apiece by Nogueira, senior Haili Welton (Southbury, CT) and Rogers. Welton was also credited with three assists.

Coast Guard was guided by Fornaro with 22 of the team's 43 points in addition to seven rebounds. She was joined in double digit scoring by sophomore Gill Gerton (Lorton, VA) with 10. Sutherland secured a game-best 11 rebounds to go with seven points while Gerton added eight boards. Freshman Jayla Joyner (Charlotte, NC) handed out a contest-best four helpers.

While the Engineers held the guests bench off the scoreboard and committed nine less turnovers (23-14), the Bears enjoyed a 16-6 margin in the paint, a 15-7 advantage in points off turnovers and a 45-38 differential in rebounding. Both teams scored seven second chance points and two fast break points. 

The Engineers head to Boston Saturday to tangle with Emerson at 2pm in its regular season finale while Coast Guard hosts MIT the same day at 1pm.

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A photo posted by WPI Athletics (@wpiathletics) on Feb 17, 2016 at 4:01pm PST