Blake and Cristiano Boost Balance Attack as Women's Basketball Bests Westfield 89-82

Maddie Blake

Westfield, MA --- Maddie Blake (Bedford, NH) headlined six WPI players in double figures in scoring as the visiting Engineers rallied from a 10-0 deficit to start the game to knock off Westfield State in conference women's basketball contest played Saturday afternoon. 

The two teams battled through a crisply player first-half, going the half tied at 38-all.  WPI (8-4) edged away from the Owls in the third quarter, going up by as many as 10 points on two occasions, the last at 63-53 on a Lisa Cristiano (Valhalla, NY) layup with 3:15 left. 

Westfield (3-9) trailed 71-63 heading into the fourth quarter.  WPI threatened to put the game away with a prolonged 13-4 run midway through the fourth quarter, as the Engineers appeared to solve the Owls pressing defense, leading 86-70 on a Spencer Vinson (Los Angeles, CA) layup with 3:15 left. 

The Owls had one last run in them, as a Jenn Rennich (Bedford, MaA) three-pointer with 49 seconds left trimmed the lead back to nine, 88-79 and the Engineers held on late to secure the win. 

Blake led the visitors with 19 points and seven rebounds.  Cristiano added 17 points for WPI, and Alex Scariati (Scotch Plains, N.J.) added 11 points, seven assists and four steals.  Melanie Presseau (Manchester, NH), Alana Keating (Leominster, MA) and Vinson each total 10 points while Bailey Savage (Charlton, MA) doled out a career-high tying five assists.  As a team, the Crimson and Gray totaled 31 assists on 39 made baskets and the Engineers out-rebounded the Owls 49-37. 

Westfield State junior Melissa Gray narrowly missed a triple-double with a 25-point, 11-steal, 9-rebound performance. Chelsea Moussette (Southampton, MA) finished with 14 points and eight assists for the Owls. Isabella Aitken (Pittsfield, MA) added 15 points. Gray is creeping closer to the 1000-point mark for her career, totaling 951 after today's game. 

Westfield shot 17-44 (38.6 percent) from three-point range for the game.  WPI finished 39-71 (54.9 percent) from the floor and 6-18 from long range.  Westfield forced 29 turnovers from WPI, but the Owls committed 24 turnovers of their own. 

The 89 points were the most for the Engineers since the Crimson and Gray registered 91 points in a road win at Cal Tech on November 26, 2005. 

WPI kicks off a four-game homestand on Tuesday, entertaining Williams at 7pm.  Westfield State is off until next Saturday when they open NEWMAC play at home at noon versus Framingham State. 

Release Courtesy Westfield State Sports Information