Springfield, MA --- Junior Chelsea McAlliser (Baltimore, VT) scored 19 points and sophomore Emily Jacques (Auburn, ME) added 14 as host Springfield defeated WPI, 56-44, in a key NEWMAC Women's Basketball showdown Wednesday night in Blake Arena. Gracie Restituyo (Barrington, RI) hauled in 15 boards - 11 defensive - for the Pride starters.
Springfield (14-5) moves into a tie with Babson, who had the night off, for first place in the NEWMAC standings with an 8-2 ledger. The Engineers (14-5), meanwhile, end the night tied in fourth place with MIT at 7-3. Cambridge's Engineers defeated the Boynton Hillers 11 days ago in OT and will meet again on Saturday February 3rd in the friendly confines of Harrington Auditorium.
Senior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) led a balanced offensive attack with 10 points and, along with classmate Maura Buckley (Melrose, MA), shared team-high honors with eight rebounds. Biney, who moved up to No. 9 on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,199 career points, also snagged four of the team's seven steals. Senior Madison Beck (Syracuse, NY) chipped in with seven points.
The Pride won all four quarters, including a slim 14-13 edge after the first. The Engineers owned a three-point lead early in the first and were as close as three with 1:21 left in the third.
While WPI shot an uncharacteristic 29.2 percent, the Engineers kept the Pride under 40 percent shooting. Springfield was +2 in the turnover column but scored 14 of the 19 points as a result. The Pride also led 22-16 in the paint and 8-6 on the fast break. The Crimson and Gray scored 13 of the 16 bench points.
The Engineers are off until next Wednesday when Smith is in town for a 7pm game. Springfield travels to Emerson for a 1pm matchup on Saturday.