Wellesley, MA --- Junior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) recorded her first career double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, to lead visiting WPI to a 63-39 victory over Wellesley in the 2016-17 NEWMAC opener for both squads on Wednesday at Gracia Mangano Martore '73 Court.
WPI improves to 6-1 on the year and 1-0 in conference play with their third-straight win against the Blue. Wellesley moves to 3-2 overall (0-1 NEWMAC), having dropped back-to-back contests after starting the year at 3-0.
Biney added five assists, three blocks and a steal, while shooting 10-of-12 from the floor to pace the Engineers. Junior Madison Beck (Syracuse, NY) delivered 12 points off the WPI bench, while classmate Stasha Greenalch (Newington, CT) chipped in with 10 points and three boards. Seniors Sarah Rogers (Colchester, CT) and Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, RI) each snagged eight rebounds, as the Engineers finished the game with a 45-21 advantage on the glass.
For Wellesley, first year Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, TX) finished in double figures for the third-straight game, scoring 12 points in 34 minutes of action. Sophomore Zojajha Ayub (Belle Mead, NJ) chipped in with seven points and a pair of boards. Senior Ailis Hanley (Cranston, RI) had a team-high seven rebounds, three steals and a block in 31 minutes off the Wellesley bench.
WPI opened the game on an 11-2 run, as a jumper from Beck gave the visitors the nine-point advantage at the 4:44 mark of the first. Wellesley would score the next two buckets thanks to first year Emily Kopp (King Ferry, NY) and junior Chelsea Brown (San Jose, CA), but the Engineers added three more points to take a 14-6 edge into the second.
The Blue played WPI even in the second quarter, cutting their eight-point deficit to five at 3:35 following a layup from first year Lauren Dines (Tenafly, NJ). However, WPI would eventually regain their eight point edge, as Biney poured in nine of the 14 Engineer points in the quarter to send the teams to the break with WPI leading by eight again, this time at 28-20.
The Engineer advantage would continue to grow after the break, as WPI quickly built a 17-point lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Beck capped a 12-3 run to make the score 40-23. The Blue followed with an 8-2 run of their own to cut the WPI lead to 42-30, but the Engineers scored six of the final nine points in the period to finish the third with a 48-33 lead. WPI then closed out the game in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Blue 15-6. The Engineers took their biggest lead of the night with 2:42 to play when first year Alana Keating (Leominster, MA made the score 61-37.
WPI finished the contest shooting 54.3% (25-46) percent from the floor, while knocking down 11-of-15 from the line. The Blue countered at 26.7% (16-60) shooting, hitting just 4-of-17 attempts (23.5%) from beyond the arc.
Both teams will continue conference play on Saturday afternoon. Wellesley will travel to Springfield for a noon start, while WPI will play at Wheaton at 1pm.
Release Courtesy Wellesley Sports Information