WORCESTER -- A strong second quarter was the deciding factor in a 59-45 victory over Western New England for the WPI women's basketball team on Saturday afternoon.
The Engineers outscored the Golden Bears 23-9 in the second stanza building up an insurmountable lead en route to the victory.
WPI (3-0) was led by Alex Scariati (Scotch Plains, NJ) who finished with a 16-point, four assist, three rebound effort. Three of Scariati's six field goals came from deep. Two other Engineers finished with double-digit scoring efforts as Melanie Presseau (Manchester, NH) added 13 points and four rebounds and Lisa Cristiano (Valhalla, KY) tacked on 12 points, including a 6-of-7 effort from the free throw line. Kara ONeil (Holden, MA) added six points, while pulling down 10 boards in the outing.
Eight different players added points in the outing for Western New England (0-2) as Sam Bodey (Marlborough, CT) and Grace Fisher (Rocky Hill, CT) both finished with eight points. Fisher added five rebounds and four assists while Colleen Furlong (Londonderry, NH) put up five points, eight boards and four assists in the loss.
Western New England finished with 16 turnovers on the afternoon and the Engineers made the most of them, capitalizing with 18 points off of those turnovers. They also outscored the Golden Bears 30-18 in the paint.
The first quarter was a back-and-forth affair for the two teams who traded baskets for the entretity of the 10 minute period.
But in the second quarter, after WNE evened things up at 14-all on a Julia Quinn (Thomaston, CT) free throw, the Engineers raced out on a 12-0 run jump started by an Scariati trey and capped off with a Presseau bucket from deep. Four different players added points during the run, led by Presseau's five.
Bodey answered with a three of her own to end the WPI run, but a Scariati 3-pointer with just under 30 seconds left in the first half sent the Engineers into the locker rooms with a 33-20 lead.
WPI made the first two baskets of the third quarter, including another trey from Presseau, but a Golden Bears 6-0 run cut into that lead as they finished the quarter outscoring WPI 14-12.
A 9-0 run over a 4:54 period spanning the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth helped Western New England cut WPI's lead down to five, but it was as close as the Golden Bears would get as Scariati launched, and connected on, another three to end that run and immediately built the Engineers' lead back up to eight, en route to the 14-point victory.
WPI will be back in action looking to keep its winning ways going against UMass Boston on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 6pm. Western New England will be back at it on Tuesday night, Nov. 16 on the road at Albertus Magnus at 7pm.