Springfield, MA --- Second-seeded Springfield used a 13-0 second quarter run to defeat visiting seventh-seeded WPI 59-49 in a NEWMAC Women's Basketball Tournament quarterfinal contest played Wednesday evening in Blake Arena.
With the loss, the Engineers see their season come to an end with a 14-12 record. Springfield, 19-7 overall and ranked ninth in the most recent NCAA Division III Northeast regional rankings advance to the NEWMAC semifinals where they will host third-seeded Smith, a 77-65 winner over sixth-seeded Emerson, on Friday at 7pm.
After WPI center Spencer Vinson (Los Angeles, CA) canned a 3-pointer with 6:37 to go before halftime to cut the Pride lead to four at 21-17, the hosts embarked up it 13-0 spurt that was ended by a Kara ONeil (Holden, MA) trifecta in the waning seconds before the halftime buzzer. During the run, Springfield received five points from Stephanie Lyons (Boston, MA) and four more from Rachael Vinton (Holden MA).
The third quarter was played within a five-point window with Springfield's lead increasing to 18 and WPI able to get the deficit down to 13 but ended with the same 14-point margin from halftime. The hosts took a 20-point advantage at 57-37 with 6:14 to go, but the Engineers would not go quietly, netting the next seven points but the Pride defense stiffened, keeping the Crimson and Gray off the scoreboard for a key 2:45 stretch.
Melanie Presseau (Manchester, NH) canned four 3-pointers for WPI on her way to a team-leading 12 points. Vinson closed out her standout senior campaign with 11 points and 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season and ninth of her career. Emily Raynowska (Brentwood, NH) chipped in with seven points off the bench and Bailey Savage (Charlton, MA) doled out a career-best six assists.
Rookie Sam Hourihan (Bridgewater, MA) paced all players with 22 points for the Pride while Emily Jacques (Auburn, ME) added 11 points and Alex Goslin (South Windsor, CT) stuffed the stat sheets with eight points, 8 assists, six rebounds and three assists.