Worcester, MA --- Lauren Hannmann (East Greenbush, NY) and Elle Fontaine (Franklin, MA) registered 29 of their combined 43 points in the first half to lift WPI to a 63-50 victory over visiting Wellesley in a NEWMAC women's basketball contest played on Saturday afternoon.
The win was WPI's second straight and pushes the Engineers' record to 16-6 overall and 12-4 in conference play. Wellesley evens its marks at 11-11 on the season and 8-8 in NEWMAC action.
WPI trailed just once at 3-2 in a first half that saw the Crimson and Gray connect on 51.5% of their shots from floor. The Engineers, behind senior Charlotte McDonnell (Swansea, MA), outrebounded the Blue 24-10 in the opening stanza and parlayed 11 offensive rebounds into a 16-0 first half edge in second chance points. Hannmann totaled 15 points and Fontaine added 14 as the hosts took 43-23 lead into the locker room at the break.
The Engineers turned to their attention to defense in the second half. They held the Blue to 27.6% shooting after halftime and forced 12 turnovers. For the game, WPI enjoyed a 16-0 bulge in fast break points.
Hannmann ended with 18 points while Fontaine finished with 17 points. Senior Melissa Kuhn (Stoughton, MA) had a solid all-around game with nine points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals while Fontaine and McDonnell combined for 14 rebounds.
The trio of Fontaine, Kuhn and McDonnell were honored in Senior Day festivities before and after the contest.
Becca Kimball (Weston, MA) paced a balanced offensive effort with 10 points for Wellesley. Malia Maier (Torrance, CA) chipped in with nine points and a game-best five steals while Leslie Leong (Sacramento, CA) and Katie Shulenberger (Ashland, OR) each contributed eight points.
As a team, the Blue grabbed 21 of the 36 second half rebounds but missed all eight of their second half 3-point shots.
Both teams open the final week of the regular season on Wednesday. WPI heads to Cambridge to take on MIT at 8pm while Wellesley hosts Wheaton at 7pm in a contest with major playoff implications.