WORCESTER – Led by MVP junior Ama Biney (Worcester, MA) and classmate Stasha Greenalch (Newington, CT), an All-Tournament Team selection, the WPI women's basketball team won its own Holiday Tournament with a 54-49 victory over Wesleyan Saturday afternoon in Harrington Auditorium.
The Cardinals (5-5) were represented on the All-Tournament team by sophomore Tara Berger (Purchase, NY) and junior Maeve Vitale (Roswell, GA) while junior Abby Andrews (Ann Arbor, MI) was the pick from Oberlin.
WPI (11-1) won the tip and controlled the scoreboard until Vitale hit a three for the 9-8 Wesleyan advantage. After senior Sarah Rogers (Colchester, CT) evened it back up, junior Madison Beck (Syracuse, NY) put the hosts ahead with a layup at 1:34. With just under a minute left in the first, Biney made it a four-point game (13-9).
Beck increased the Engineer lead to six early in the second. Wesleyan then chipped away and tied it up at 20-20 behind a layup by freshman Heidi Scarth (East Setauket, NY) at 5:57. Just over a minute later, Greenalch temporarily halted the Cardinals from taking the lead as she stripped the ball from junior Maddie Bledsoe (Newton, MA) and landed out of bounds; however, Bledsoe ended up with a layup following a handful of passes.
Senior Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, RI) then used a traditional three-point play to regain the lead for the Boynton Hillers. Senior Danielle Gervacio (Ossining, NY) and Greenalch traded buckets while Bledsoe put her team back on top with a jumper at 1:59. A Greenalch jumper with 38 seconds to go cut the Engineers deficit to one heading into the half (31-30).
Out of the break, sophomore Chynna Bailey (Brooklyn, NY) struck first for Wesleyan before Rogers turned the scoreboard in WPI's favor with a jumper at 7:14. Biney and Greenalch pushed the lead to five while Vitale single-handedly brought Wesleyan within one with 10 minutes to play.
Bailey was again the first to score giving the Cardinals the 39-38 lead 42 seconds into the fourth. Greenalch countered with a rebound hoop. Sophomore Olivia Gorman (Lower Gwenydd, PA) then gave the guests a little breathing room with a triple at 8:38. Berger pushed it to four with a pair of freebies. Biney and Greenalch teamed again to even the game back up. Biney then stole the inbound pass and setup Buckley for an easy layup. Following an offensive foul, Biney hit a floater for the 48-44 lead with 5:07 to play. With exactly two minutes to play, Greenalch canned a three pointer for the 51-44 cushion. Gorman and Vitale were able to bring their team within four; however, Biney sealed the victory with a free throw with 13 seconds remaining.
Biney finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals as Greenalch posted 15 points, five rebounds and a pair of swipes. Senior Tess Nogueira (Merrimac, MA) blocked three shots for the Engineers.
Gorman totaled 15 points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal to go woth 13 points, seven defensive rebounds, a block and a steal by Vitale. Berger added nine rebounds and Bailey came up with seven rebounds.
The Engineers doubled up their counterparts 32-16 in the paint, scored 23 of the games 30 points off turnovers and all six fast break points. The hosts also had the 9-7 edge in both second chance points and bench points. In all, the game was tied on seven occasions and the lead changed a dozen times.
WPI hosts Babson in a rematch of last season's NEWMAC tournament title game Wednesday at 7pm. Wesleyan returns home for a 7pm matchup with Middlebury on Friday.
MVP - Ama Biney (WPI)
Stasha Greenalch (WPI)
Tara Berger (Wesleyan)
Maeve Vitale (Wesleyan)
Abby Andrews (Oberlin)
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Andrews Ignites Oberlin's Hot Start in Win Over Bridgewater State at WPI Tourny
WORCESTER – All-Tournament Team selection junior Abby Andrews (Ann Arbor, MI) scored 16 points and hauled in nine rebounds to lead Oberlin past Bridgewater State 57-40 in the consolation game of the WPI Holiday Tournament Saturday afternoon in Harrington Auditorium.
Bolstered by 68 percent shooting in the first half, the Yeowomen led from wire to wire. Andrews scored the first six points of the game and ended the initial frame with 10. BSU senior Chelsea Saucier (Portland, ME) drained a buzzer-beating three to close out the first quarter. Oberlin continued to pull away in the second, which included a pair of trifectas by sophomore Alex Stipano (Alexandria, VA). As a team, the Yeowomen scored 22 points in the paint while all of the Bears scoring came off the bench.
As she did in the first, Andrews netted the first six points to begin the third. Four different Bridgewater State scorers recorded the last 10 points of the stanza as the team had a chance to win the period; however, a late three was off the mark.
The run continued into the third and was halted at 13 thanks to the first free throw of the game with 6:39 to play. Bear junior Jennifer Whyte (Braintree, MA) concluded the game with a buzzer-beating layup to help the Yeowomen take the fourth 15-9.
Sophomore Olivia Canning (Sudbury, MA) also narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and nine boards as did junior Tyler Parlor (Detroit, MI) with 13 rebounds and nine points. Stipano added nine points, freshman Maggie Gross (Binghamton, NY) pulled down six rebounds and sophomore Sarah Thompson (Manchester, MI) handed out five assists.
Whyte led the Bears with 14 points followed by Saucier with five. junior Rhiana Page (Brookline, MA) and senior Stephanie DeSantis (Walpole, MA) each accounted for a quartet of rebounds as Stipano and Parlor each registered a trio of steals.
Oberlin (4-6) heads to Washington, DC for a 5pm matchup with Catholic on Monday. Bridgewater State (3-8) travels to UMass Boston for a 5pm tip on Thursday.