WORCESTER --- Sam Boyle (Scotts Valley, CA) hit a pair of free-throws with 3.2 seconds left to give visiting Emerson the lead as the Lions spoiled WPI's home regular season finale by handing the Engineers a 63-60 defeat in NEWMAC women's basketball action on Wednesday evening.
WPI falls to 13-11 overall and 3-6 in NEWMAC play. They can still clinch a spot in the league tournament with a win over Mount Holyoke and a Babson victory over Coast Guard on Saturday afternoon. The victory clinched a NEWMAC Tournament berth for the Lions.
Spencer Vinson (Los Angeles, CA) led WPI with 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks, while Rachel Davey (Saratoga, CA) scored a game-high 18 points with five rebounds and three steals in the win for Emerson.
The game featured eight ties and ten lead changes, including three in the final 1:02 of play. WPI took a 58-57 lead on a free-throw by Vinson, only to have Kate Foultz (Thousand Oaks, CA) give the Lions back the edge by making a three-pointer at the other end of the floor.
Kara ONeil (Holden, MA), who scored ten points, to go with five rebounds, three assists and two steals, tied the game at 60 on a layup with 24.7 seconds remaining, but Boyle took advantage of a trip to the line, where Emerson shot 19-23 (82.6%) on the evening.
Natalie Clydesdale (Pittsburgh, PA) came up with a steal as WPI tried to find a tying basket, and sank a free throw to give Emerson its three-point victory.
Emerson used a 10-0 run to turn a 9-9 game into a double-digit lead early on. WPI came storming back with a 14-0 run of their own and led 23-19 late in the second quarter, but the teams went to the break tied at 27.
Maddie Blake (Bedford, NH) had six points and three rebounds in the third quarter, and WPI shot 46.7% while holding Emerson to 3-12 from the floor in the period as they took a 5-point lead into the final ten minutes.
Alana Keating (Leominster, MA) hit a triple to open the quarter and WPI led by eight. O'Neil converted a three-point play midway through the quarter to give the Engineers their largest lead, nine points.
Boyle scored the next six points for Emerson, who tied the game at 57 on a three-pointer by Foultz with 2:05 remaining.
Keating had 12 points, including 3-6 from three-point land for WPI, while Emerson's Boyle finished the night with 14 points and six rebounds and Foultz scored 11 points.
WPI tips off at 2:00pm on Saturday at Mount Holyoke, while Emerson, finished with NEWMAC play, hosts Dean College at 1:00pm.