Worcester, MA – Seniors Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, RI) and Tess Nogueira (Merrimac, MA) combined for 30 points in their final regular season home game at Harrington Auditorium on Saturday afternoon as WPI secured one of its best wins of the season, taking down rival MIT, 72-47, on a triumphant Senior Day.
The duo, along with Sarah Rogers (Colchester, CT) were honored prior to the game for their contributions to WPI Athletics and the women's basketball program.
Dunphy scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go with seven rebounds and three assists, while Nogueira shot a near-perfect 6-for-7 from the field en route to a well-rounded 13 points, five boards, four blocks, two steals and two assists.
Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) also put in a versatile performance with a game-high 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. Biney scored 15 of her points in the second half to close the door on an MIT comeback.
With the victory, WPI (20-4, 13-3 NEWMAC) leapfrogs MIT (20-5, 13-3) to grab the No. 3 seed in the 2016 NEWMAC Women's Basketball Championship tournament, setting up a 7pm home game against sixth-seeded Coast Guard on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
After also beating NEWMAC regular season champion Babson on the road last Wednesday, WPI has now beaten all 11 teams in the conference this season.
Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, WA) and Dolly Yuan (San Jose, CA) led MIT with 12 points apiece, while senior captain Kara Holinski (Livonia, MI) added 10 points.
Yuan put in a pair of layups and a 3-pointer, scoring seven early points to send the visitors ahead, 9-4, with 5:39 to go in the first quarter. WPI staged an 8-0 run over the following three minutes, as Biney contributed a layup and two free throws to help boost the Boynton Hillers to a 12-9 lead. Holinski tied the game up for MIT with a 3-pointer late in the opening quarter, but Stasha Greenalch (Newington, CT) pulled up for a short jumper to beat the buzzer and put the hosts back ahead, 16-14, after one.
WPI rallied again early in the second quarter for seven straight points, showing off its shooting as Dunphy knocked down a 3-pointer, while Brittney Lambert (Hudson, NH) and Maura Buckley (Melrose, MA) each drained jump shots to spot the home side a 27-18 advantage with 4:27 remaining in the first half. MIT could close the deficit any closer than seven points the rest of the of the quarter, while Dunphy sank a deep two-pointer from the right wing with two seconds left in the period to push WPI's lead to 35-25 at the intermission.
The hosts never led by fewer than 17 points in the final 10 minutes, while Biney finished strong by scoring the final four points of the game to put WPI up by 25.
Along with shooting percentages, WPI won out in every statistical category on Saturday, including rebounding (36 to MIT's 24), assists (16 to 7), points in the paint (44 to 18), points of turnovers (15 to 3) and bench points (19 to 2).
2017 NEWMAC Women's Basketball Championship
Quarterfinals: Wednesday, February 22 at higher seed:
No.7 Clark at No.2 Springfield - TBA
No.6 Coast Guard at No.3 WPI - 7:00 p.m.
No.5 Smith at No.4 MIT - 7:00 p.m.
Semifinals: Saturday, February 25 at Babson:
Winner No.4/5 Seed vs. No.1 Babson (14-2) - 12:00 p.m.
Winner No.3/6 Seed vs. Winner No.2/7 Seed - 2:30 p.m.
Finals: Sunday, February 26 at Babson:
Semifinal Winners - 12:00 p.m.
Video coming soon!