Cristiano's Career Night, Presseau's Strong Finish Keeps Women's Basketball Undefeated

Lisa Cristiano - WPI Men's Basketball 2021-2022

BOSTON -- In its first true road game of the season, the WPI women's basketball team eked out a 60-56 victory at UMass Boston on Wednesday night. 

Melanie Presseau (Manchester, NH) sealed the victory for the Engineers (4-0) knocking down two free throws with just five seconds remaining in the game, her first free throws of the season, to help WPI remain undefeated in its start of the 2021-22 campaign, its best start since the 2017-18 season.  

Presseau finished with 12 points also adding a pair of rebounds, and a steal on the night. Senior Lisa Cristiano (Valhalla, NY) led the way for the Engineers, coming off the bench to finish with a career-high 18 points and season-best six rebounds.  Alex Scariati (Scotch Plains, NJ) handed out a career-best eight assists. 

After the Engineers were able to capture a 20-12 lead after the first quarter, UMass Boston responded with a 19-9 second stanza, heading into halftime with a two-point lead. The third quarter went in favor of WPI (17-12) as the squad headed into the final frame with a three-point lead, 46-43.  

The Engineers led for the majority of the ball game, including a tumultuous 13 minutes of action en route to the victory. The Beacons' final lead came with 3:06 remaining in the third quarter though they were neck and neck with WPI right until the final buzzer sounded.  

A Scariati 3-pointer gave the Engineers a six-point cushion at the start of the fourth quarter, but three-straight UMass Boston bucket evened the score at 49-all with 8:13 left in the game. Cristiano rallied off four-straight points via a layup and a pair of free throws to put WPI up 53-49 midway through the frame.  

Meg Dixon (Hanover, MA) cut the WPI lead to two with two free throws of her own, but Cristiano and her hot hand responded with a layup with 3:07 remaining to regain a four-point, 55-51 lead. A Jasharee Greene (Boston, MA) once again made it a two-point game with two minutes to go, and a Rayla Gonzalez (Boston, MA) free throw brought the Beacons within one, 55-54.  

But Presseau drained a clutch three with 54 ticks of the clock left to bolster the WPI lead. Dixon hit another pair of free throws to make it a 58-56 game, but that was as close as UMass Boston got as Presseau's free throws sealed the victory.  

UMass Boston (0-4) was led by a 20-point, eight-rebound, five-assist effort from Greene while Dixon chipped in 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.  

WPI looks to continue its winning ways against Regis at home on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 2pm.  UMass Boston looks to pick up its first win of the season also on Saturday at the Colby College Tip-Off Classic when they take on Wellesley.