WORCESTER -- Madison Beck (Syracuse, NY) led all scorers with 18 points and added a key steal in the waning seconds as WPI collected a hard-earned 61-54 victory over visiting MIT in a NEWMAC women's basketball contest played Saturday afternoon in Harrington Auditorium.
With the victory, WPI improves to 16-5 on the season and 9-3 in conference play while MIT dips to 12-8 overall and 8-5 in NEWMAC action.
After Stasha Greenalch's (Newington, CT) 3-pointer put the hosts ahead 55-48 with 4:47, the two defenses took center stage as neither team would be able to muster a made field goal the rest of the way. MIT sliced the advantage to three at 55-52 with four free throws, the last two by Dolly Yuan (San Jose, CA) with 1:41 remaining. MIT appeared poised to take an uncontested 3-pointer to tie the game but Beck swooped in out of nowhere and stole the pass. From there WPI drained six free throws in the final 11.1 seconds (along with two MIT freebies) to secure the victory.
MIT led 29-27 at the break but WPI used a 14-2 advantage in the paint in the third quarter to lead 44-37 after 30 minutes. The uprising was led by Maura Buckley (Melrose, MA), who accounted for six points and while Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) and Beck accounted for four each and Brittney Lambert (Hudson, NH) added the only points from outside on a trifecta.
In the fourth quarter WPI built a 10-point bulge at 49-39 following an Alana Keating (Leominster, MA) 3-pointer with 8:44 to go only to see MIT rattle off nine straight points scored by four different players to get within one with 6:08 remaining. From that point Greenalch netted six straight points on a conventional 3-point play and the aforementioned 3-pointer to make the score 55-48.
Beck drained 7-of-12 field goal tries and all four of free throw attempts on her way to 18 points. The senior was joined in double figures by classmate Buckley, who finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and a career-high five assists. Greenalch and Lambert both tallied nine points and Biney ended with eight. Biney paced all players with eight rebounds while Greenalch joined Buckley with five assists and a pair of steals.
Yuan paced the visiting Engineers with 17 points, including a 9-of-11 performance from the free throw line. Kylie Gallagher (Upton, MA) registered 14 points and Kara Holinski (Livonia, MI) chipped in with 13. Gallagher added seven boards and three blocks while Taylor V'Dovec (Blaine, WA) also corralled seven rebounds. Maude Gull (Wilmington, DE), Yuan and V'Dovec all doled out two assists on the day.
Both teams excelled at the free throw line with WPI a perfect 9-of-9 and MIT connecting on 15-of-18 (83.3%) from the charity stripe. WPI held a solid advantage in rebounding (37-29), points in the paint (30-12), second chance points (18-6) and accounted for all six of the game's fast break points.
Both teams return to action on Wednesday. WPI heads to Babson for a 6pm showdown with the Beavers while MIT hosts Mount Holyoke at 7pm.