WORCESTER --- The WPI women's basketball team started off the 2021-22 season with a bang, ousting Anna Maria College on Friday night in the first game of the Worcester City Tournament, 67-24. The Engineers jumped out to a large first-half lead that the Amcats were unable to overcome en route to the victory.
WPI (1-0) led 45-14 at halftime, and held Anna Maria (0-1) to just two third quarter points in the victory, picking up its fourth-straight opening night victory.
The Engineers shot an outstanding 48.2 percent from the field on 27-of-56 shooting including an 8-of-16 clip from deep. WPI's defense held Anna Maria to a 14.3 shooting percentage allowing just seven buckets during the entire game.
WPI earned 25 points off of Anna Maria's 24 turnovers and dished out 19 assists on the 27 made baskets. Thirty-two of the Engineers' points came from their bench players in the game.
Melanie Presseau (Manchester, NH) led the way for WPI, who had 13 different players net at least one point, finishing with 14 points and three assists while Emily Raynowska (Brentwood, NH) tallied 11 points and five rebounds. Victoria Mirecki (Washingtonville, NY) registered team-highs of six rebounds and four assists, Lisa Cristiano (Valhalla, NY) doled out four assists, Alice Kelly (Wethersfield, CT) chipped in with eight points and Wynn, Jordan Wynn (Groton, MA) corralled four boards.
Anna Maria was paced by Marnique Reddin (Tampa, FL) who finished with eight points and nine rebounds in the outing while Mariah Carey (Worcester, MA) finished with six points and three boards.
Mirecki started things off with an and-one and the Engineers never looked back in the wire-to-wire victory. Mirecki went on to score the first five points of the game, with the Engineers starting things off with a 7-0 run before Carey netted the first points on a trey for Anna Maria. The Amcats got within three but a 9-0 run to end the quarter gave the WPI a 20-8 lead after the first 10 minutes of action.
Anna Maria netted the first point of the second quarter on a free throw, but another 8-0 run grew WPI's lead to 28-9 and then eventually the 31-point halftime advantage capped by a Presseau 3-pointer heading into the half.
WPI utilized a 15-0 run spanning the third quarter to grow its lead to 60-14 before Anna Maria's Redden nailed a pair of free throws with a couple minutes to go in the quarter to net the team's lone points of the third quarter.
Anna Maria outscored the Engineers in the fourth quarter but it wouldn't be enough to overcome the deficit.
WPI will take on Worcester State Saturday at 3pm at Clark in search of its seventh consecutive Worcester City Tournament title. Anna Maria tangles with the host Cougars in the consolation contest.