Medford, MA --- The WPI women's basketball team suffered its first defeat of the 2021-22 season at the hands of No. 15 Tufts on Wednesday night, 73-47. Despite a 10-point performance from Alex Scariati (Scotch Plains, NJ), the Engineers' seven-game win-streak, its best start under 22-year head coach Cherise Galasso, came to a close.
Tufts (6-1) was paced by Molly Ryan (Westfield, NJ) who finished with a 20-point performance and four steals. Sofia Rosa (Sudbury, MA) chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds while Callie O'Brien (Staten Island, NY) finished with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
WPI entered the game ranked second in the nation in points allowed per game allowing an average of just 41.0 points through their first seven games of play.
Tufts connected on 50.8 percent of its shots on the evening while holding the Engineers to just a 34.5 field goal percentage. The Jumbos also dominated in the paint outrebounding WPI 43-26 and outscoring the Engineers 40-32.
After the first 20 minute of action, Tufts claimed a 40-25 halftime lead. The Engineers kept things close through the first six minutes of action, but after a Raynowska layup that made it a 13-14 ballgame, Tufts ended the first quarter on a 7-0 run behind a pair of Ryan layups and an Erin Poindexter McHan (Los Altos Hills, CA) trey to finish the first 10 minutes with a 21-13 advantage.
Scariati started the second quarter with a 3-pointer of her own, but another quick 7-0 run over an 83 second span boosted Tufts' lead to 28-16 with just under eight minutes left in the first half. The two teams traded baskets and a Mirecki three brought the Engineers within 11, but four-straight points to finish the quarter meant a 40-25 advantage for the Jumbos at halftime.
The third quarter was an evenly matched affair with the two teams trading buckets throughout the entire 10 minutes. Back-to-back layups from Tufts gave the Jumbos a 20-point advantage, 54-34 with less than three minutes left, but WPI answered with a pair of layups of its own from Kara ONeil (Holden, MA) and McKenna Finken (Simsbury, CT) and made it a 55-38 game with 10 minute to go.
A Tufts 7-0 run to start the fourth quarter sealed the Jumbo lead giving the ranked squad an insurmountable 62-38 lead, before Jordan Wynn (Groton, MA) ended the run with a layup. Wynn accounted for four of the team's nine fourth quarter points.
WPI will break for the next few weeks and looks to bounce back against Bates on Thursday, Dec. 30 at 4pm as a part of the WPI Holiday Tournament. Tufts will return to the court on Saturday afternoon against another set of Engineers when they play host to MIT at 1pm.