WORCESTER – Stasha Greenalch (Newington, CT) and Madison Beck (Syracuse, NY) combined for 28 points, including 13 in the second half, as WPI raced past Wheaton, 65-48, in a NEWMAC Women's Basketball matchup Saturday afternoon in Harrington Auditorium.
The Engineers up their record to 14-4 on the year and remain tied in second place with a 7-2 ledger in the conference. Wheaton ends the day 7-10 and 2-6.
The Boynton Hillers cruised past the Lyons in the fourth quarter, outscoring the visitors 12-2 in the first 5:16 of the stanza. The home team led by as many as 22 in the game and held an 18-8 advantage off of turnovers as they nabbed seven steals.
The game began with a hotly contested first quarter. The Engineers broke out to an early four point lead 2:07 into the frame but were quickly matched after a pair of freebies by Mikayla Pucci (Hopkinton, MA) and another score by the Lyons. Both teams transitioned to a perimeter game, attempting a total of 10 3-point shots, Wheaton scored 3-of-4 while the Engineers came away with just two of their six attempts, the second of which coming from a Greenalch buzzer-beater to take the lead back, eliciting an eruption from the home crowd and ending the quarter with the Crimson and Gray ahead by a slim one point margin.
The aerial assault continued into the second quarter as Brittney Lambert (Hudson, NH) nailed another trifecta 20 seconds into the period. However it felt as if there were a lid on the basket for the Engineers as they notched just 25% of their 3-point attempts and 35% of their shots from the field in the second quarter. Meanwhile the Lyons were near perfect from beyond the arc, shooting 66% and holding the Engineers lead to just one halfway through the second. WPI made up for their lack of scoring by performing superbly on defense during the bout, allowing just 11 total shots and forcing eight turnovers before pushing their lead to five as they headed to the locker room.
Not to be left out of the game, Wheaton matched the Engineers 34-34, 3:18 into the third, scoring on their first possession and taking advantage of a series of WPI misses to land yet another 3-point jumper by Rebecca Olivieri (Milton, MA), her fourth of the game. WPI found their spark coming out of a 30 second timeout and scored the next seven points of the game. They continued to shine, shrugging off their second quarter struggles and pushing their lead to 10 by the end of the period when Brianna Dozier (Dedham, MA) blocked an Olivieri three and scooped up the ball to go the distance, knocking down the layup for the Engineers.
Greenalch led all scorers with 17 points in the game and dished out six assists in the win. Beck contributed with 11 points and a pair of offensive rebounds. Lambert and Alana Keating (Leominster, MA) just missed double figures in scoring with nine. Maura Buckley (Melrose, MA), Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) and Maddie Blake (Bedford, NH) dominated off the glass, collecting nine, eight and seven boards apiece. Biney also chipped in with six points.
Olivieri and Pucci shared the Lyons team-high scoring with 14 points apiece. Chelsea Rairdon (Westbook, ME) chipped in with five points and two steals while Ruthie Zientek (Homdel, NJ) led her team in rebounds with six, knocking down four points in the effort.
Women's Basketball heads to Springfield Wednesday for the first game of a rare NEWMAC men's and women's doubleheader at 6pm. The men follow at 8pm. Wheaton hosts Emerson at 8pm, also on Wednesday.
Majority of recap written by WPI student assistant Ranier Gran '18