Women's Basketball Falls at Springfield in Battle of Nationally-Recognized Squads

Kara O'Neil - WPI Women's Basketball 2022

Springfield, MA --- In a game that featured a pair of teams recognized in the D3Hoops rankings, Springfield came out on top of the WPI women's basketball team 61-56 on Saturday afternoon. Springfield entered the game with a 23rd place ranking while WPI was receiving votes.  

WPI fell for just the third time this season (16-3, 5-2 NEWMAC) while Springfield (18-2, 4-2) remained perfect at home in 2021-22 earning its 11th victory on their home court.  

The game came down to the final quarter of action, where, after the score was knotted at 50-all with 4:51 remaining in the game, Springfield raced out on an 8-0 run from the next three-and-a-half minutes to put the game out of reach, though the Engineers never relented. With 29 seconds left, Kara ONeil (Holden, MA) drained a three to cut the lead to five and an Alex Scariati (Scotch Plains, NJ) layup brought things to four, but the Engineers couldn't get any closer as Springfield left with the win.  

O'Neil finished with 11 points and four rebounds on the afternoon while Scariati added nine points, five rebounds and a pair of assists. Melanie Presseau (Manchester, NH) led the way for the Engineers finishing with 15 points.  

Springfield was led by a 20-point effort from Sidney Wentland (Elk River, MN) who also pulled down 15 rebounds. Grace Dzindolet (Holliston, MA) added 12 points, six rebounds and six assists while Rachel Vinton (Rutland, MA) and Angela Czeremcha (West Springfield, MA) each added 11 points.  

It was a tale of two quarters in the first half of play, which resulted in a 31-31 halftime tie. The Engineers ultimately dominated the first quarter of play thanks to the deep shooting of Presseau. After Springfield started things off with a 7-0 run. Presseau launched on from deep to get WPI on the board, with her ensuing trey evening things at 8-all. Following a Czeremcha jumper, the Engineers finished the quarter on an 11-0 run with five different Engineers adding to the total to end the first 10 minutes of action ahead 19-10.  

Springfield answered in the second quarter, outscoring WPI 21-12 in the frame. A quick 5-0 run to start the period made things more manageable, while back-to-back buckets from Dzindolet and Amanda Carr (West Haven, CT) evened things out after the first half.  

The third quarter was a back and forth affair with both teams trading baskets throughout the entirety of the period. With Springfield up three after a Czeremcha jumper, WPI ended the period on a 4-0 run behind a Lisa Cristiano (Valhalla, NY) and a Scariati three with seconds remaining to claim a 43-42 advantage heading into the final 10 minutes of action.  

Springfield made just one three-pointer in the game, while the Engineers were able to knock down six, though the Pride finished with a 41.4 shooting percentage to the Engineers' 32.8. Springfield outscored WPI in the paint 30-24 and out-rebounded the Engineers 42-36 in the loss.  

The Engineers look to bounce back on Wednesday night when they return home to play host to MIT at 7pm. Springfield will head out on the road for a tough battle with Smith College also on Wednesday at 7pm.