Larsen and Davis Lead Women's Basketball by Smith in Overtime

Jessica Larsen

Northampton, MA --- WPI rallied from a five-point deficit with just over two minutes to go in regulation to defeat host Smith 69-61 in overtime in NEWMAC women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon.  

Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) led five WPI players in double-figures with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Rachel Pineda (Shrewsbury, MA), Jessica Larsen (San Diego, CA), Siena Mamayek (Melrose, MA), and Amaia Gritsko (Milford, CT) each had 11.  Those five combined for 60 of WPI's 69 points.  Larsen had a double-double, collecting 10 boards to go with her 11 points. 

Rosa Drummond (Rye, NH) score 24 points for Smith and moved past Lauren Kernochan '00 and Jennifer Ramsey '92 and now has 1,186 career points.  She trails only Tammy Drummond '84 (no relation, 1,399 points) and Phoebe Jacob (1,441 points) on the list of point scorers at Smith.  Paulina Solis (Santa Ana, CA) added 14 points, and Mandy Castro (San Diego, CA) chipped in eight. 

Smith is now 2-7, and 2-4 in the NEWMAC, while WPI is 4-6, and 2-3 against NEWMAC foes. 

Drummond scored Smith's first nine points of the game as the Pioneers jumped out to an early lead, but WPI went on a 10-2 run to lead 12-9 at the 12:36 mark of the first half.  The Engineers expanded their lead to eight on Davis' free throw with 3:03 to play in the first half, but Smith clawed back within five on Drummond three pointer with 28 seconds left in the first half.  WPI led 29-24 at halftime.

The Pioneers came out the halftime break on fire, scoring the first nine points of the stanza for a 33-29 lead.  Solis hit a three on Smith's first possession, and Drummond hit a pair of jumpers as Smith went back in front.  

Morgan responded for the visitors with a pair of three point baskets as WPI went back up 35-33, but back came Smith, getting buckets from Drummond and Solis to take a 39-38 advantage. Smith pushed the lead up to 46-40, as Lauren Weston (Florance, MA) fed Castro for a three point shot, and Solis connected with Sydney Parkmond (Waterbury, CT) for a layup with 10:10 to play.  

Smith led 54-49 with 3:19 left in the game, but WPI closed regulation on a 6-1 run to force overtime.  After Larsen's free throw got the Engineers within four at 54-50, Pineda's layup closed the gap to 54-52 with 50 seconds to play.  Solis went 1-for-2 from the line, and on WPI's next possession, Gritsko converted a conventional three point play to knot the score at 55.

Both teams had one final chance to win in regulation.  Smith brought the ball up, but turned it over, and Davis' three at the buzzer was long.

In overtime, WPI quickly went up 59-55 on two free throws each by Davis and Pineda, but Smith tied the score at 59 as Weston put back a Drummond miss, and Drummond knocked down a 12 footer that rolled around the rim and in.  Davis hit a three for the Engineers next time down the court, and WPI never looked back, sinking five of eight free throws in the final 1:08 to seal the win.

WPI held advantages in rebounding (40-33) and at the free throw line, shooting 20 of 26 free throws while Smith made six of eight.  It was the first time WPI had beaten Smith since 2010, and the first OT loss for the Pioneers since a 72-70 setback at Westfield State University on November 17, 2010.

Smith heads to MIT for a NEWMAC game that starts at 7 p.m. on January 7.  WPI will also be on the road, traveling to undefeated Wheaton on the same evening.

Release Courtesy Smith Sports Information