Worcester, MA --- Visiting WPI raced out to a 24-8 lead midway through the first half and never looked back, cruising to an easy 59-39 win over crosstown rival Clark University in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, WPI pushes its record to 10-6 overall and 6-4 in league play, while the Cougars have now dropped four of five contests to slip to 9-8 and 4-6 in conference action.
After falling in the season's first matchup between the two teams in the Worcester City Tournament, the Engineers have won the last two meetings with Clark by a combined 41 points.
WPI built its lead courtesy of some hot first half shooting where they connected on 45 percent of the field goal attempts, including a 5-for-10 performance from behind the arc.
The Engineers' first half lead ballooned to as many as 21 at 40-19 following a three-pointer from Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) with less than two minutes to play.
Clark did put together back-to-back baskets – first by Ashleigh Condon (Hull, MA) and then from Esther Cohn (Chapel Hill, NC) – to close half with some momentum.
Those baskets combined with the Cougars scoring seven of the second half's first nine points, had Clark down just 12 less than five minutes into the final stanza, but that would be as close as the Cougars would get.
Other than the pair of free throws by Condon that trimmed the lead to 42-30, the Cougars went scoreless for the next 11 minutes of game action and WPI embarked on a 15-0 run to take control at 57-30 with less than five minutes to play.
Clark shot a season-low 28 percent from the floor in scoring their fewest points of the year.
The Engineers controlled the glass, holding a 47-31 advantage in rebounds – including 15 on the offensive end helping them outscore the Scarlet and White 12-0 in second chance points.
Cindy Chelius (Northfield, NJ) led all scorers with a career-high 15 points and nine rebounds in just 20 minutes, while Davis contributed all of her ten points and five rebounds in the second half.
Kelly Morgan (Brookline, NH), who entered the game as the league's top three-point shooter, went 3-for-7 from behind the arc and finished with nine points and four rebounds.
Condon was the lone Cougar in double figures, totaling ten points and eight rebounds. Emily Reilly (Marlboro, MA), who saw her streak of consecutive games in double figures come to an end at 33, ended with six points and three rebounds.
Clark will look to rebound on Wednesday when they visit Springfield, while the Engineers play host to Babson on Wednesday as well.
Release Courtesy Clark Sports Information