Leicester, MA --- Led by MVP Yasmeen Luna (North Providence, RI), the WPI women's basketball team won the 35th Annual Worcester City Tournament with a 53-37 triumph over Clark Saturday afternoon. It is the Engineers second consecutive title and seventh overall.
WPI is off to a 2-0 start for the second year in-a-row while Clark moves to 1-1 on the young season. The NEWMAC foes, who have squared off in the past four city title games, will meet once more during the regular season. Worcester State defeated host Becker 56-34 in the consolation game.
In addition to Luna, the All-Tournament Team was comprised of Tess Noguiera (Merrimac, MA) along with Clark sophomore Sam O'Gara (Worcester, MA) and freshman Kacey Legare (Chicopee, MA), as well as Worcester State sophomore Brianna Hackett (Hollis, NH) and Becker freshman Adrianna Dowdy (East Haven, CT).
Junior Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, RI) scored a game-best 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting with a pair of three pointers to pace the Engineer offense. Senior Lisa Mendez (Yonkers, NY) chipped in with 11 as Noguiera added nine and senior Jessica Larsen (Poway, CA) pitched in with seven. Larsen pulled down a game-high nine boards to go with seven from junior Sarah Rogers (Colchester, CT) and five each from Noguiera and sophomore Maura Buckley (Melrose, MA). Luna and sophomore Stasha Greenalch (Newington, CT) each handed out a trio of assists to go with Luna's three steals.
The Cougars received nine points, and three steals, from O'Gara followed by rookie Cori Ouellette (Madison, CT) with six points and sophomore Torieana St. Pierre (Portsmouth, NH) with five. Freshman Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, RI) led Clark with eight boards.
WPI held the advantage in field goal (36.8) and three point (31.3) percentage while the Cougars were slightly more efficient at the charity stripe (53.3). The Engineers also scored 10 more points off turnovers (22-12) and six more in the paint (24-18). Clark's bench, meanwhile, doubled the Engineers output 24-12.
The Engineers raced out to a 12-0 lead behind a pair of 3-pointers and a jumper by Dunphy. Freshman Maya Kerstetter (Northampton, MA) halted the initial outburst with a layup 5:02 into the contest. The Cougars managed to win the second quarter (12-11), keyed by a triple and a jumper by St. Pierre, and held WPI scoreless for the final five-plus minutes; however, it remained a double-digit margin until O'Gara hit a jumper with exactly five minutes left in the third. The Engineers advantage moved back into double digits for the final time following a Dunphy layup with 6:37 to play. WPI scored 10 of the final 14 points en route to the victory.
WPI heads to UMass Dartmouth Wednesday for an 8pm start. Clark travels to Fitchburg State Tuesday for a 5:30pm matchup.