WORCESTER -- - The WPI women's basketball team skated to a 66-48 victory over Wheaton on Wednesday night paced by a 20-point effort from senior Melanie Presseau (Manchester, NH), her third 20-point effort of the season.
Presseau was solid from behind the arc going 5-for-7 from deep while also tacking on four steals for the Engineers (14-2, 3-1 NEWMAC) in their victory.
Wheaton (5-10, 0-4) got out to a 15-13 lead over the Engineers after the first quarter of action as a pair of Greta Minos (West Roxbury, MA) free throws were the difference maker with time winding down in a back-and-forth first stanza.
But the Engineers responded in the second frame, outsourcing the Lyons 19-10 thanks to Cristiano, who netted half of her game total during that 10-minute span, while Presseau added five points. Presseau and Scariati started the period with back-to-back threes to regain the lead for good.
The advantage only grew in the third quarter, where WPI outscored Wheaton 22-8, thanks to an 8-0 run to start the period, and an 8-1 run to end the period, heading into the final 10 minutes of action ahead 54-33.
The 8-1 run extended into a 14-1 advantage spanning the two periods behind a McKenna Finken (Simsbury, CT) jumper, Presseau trey and Alice Kelly (Wethersfield, CT) free throw, to make it 60-33. The two teams traded baskets down the stretch, but the Engineers' edge was enough to come away with the win.
Wheaton was led by a 12 point effort from Alexis Romer (Delray Beach, FL) while Minos added 11 points and nine rebounds in the outing.
The Engineers connected on 26 buckets on the night, outshooting the Lyons (15). However, Wheaton was able to generate 22 free throw attempts, to the Engineers' 14. WPI outrebounded Wheaton 48-33 and out-assisted 18-10. Thirty-two of the team's 66 points also came in the paint in the outing.
WPI looks to keep the momentum going on Saturday afternoon against Emerson at Harrington Auditorium at 3pm while Wheaton looks to pick up its first conference victory on the road at Clark at 1pm.