Women's Basketball Uses Late Trifectas to Sink MIT in Matchup of Regionally-Ranked Squads

Melanie Presseau - WPI Women's Basketball 2022

WORCESTER -- A duo of late 3-pointers from McKenna Finken (Simsbury, CT) and Melanie Presseau (Manchester, NH) put the game out of reach as the WPI women's basketball team took a hard-fought 70-62 victory from MIT on Wednesday night at Harrington Auditorium.  

WPI is now 17-3 overall and 6-2 in NEWMAC play while MIT dips to 10-8 on the season and 5-2 in conference action.  Both teams appeared in the initial NCAA Division III Region II rankings, which were revealed earlier today. 

MIT battled back from an eight-point deficit entering the final period of play, beginning the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 54-53 lead, its first lead of the ballgame. But the Engineers responded with an Adrianna Niles (Tewksbury, MA) jumper to regain the lead with 6:02 remaining in the game.  

MIT fired back one possession later on a Kylie Gallagher (Upton, MA) layup, but it was a Finken 3-pointer that would ultimately give WPI the lead for good en route to the victory. Following Finken's trey, Alice Kelly (Wethersfield, CT) drained a jumper followed by a Presseau 3-pointer to give WPI a five-point lead that MIT was unable to overcome.  

Finken finished with 13 points, including the two aforementioned 3-pointers on the night while Presseau added 17 points, four rebounds and three assists as the duo sank their free throws and pulled down a key defensive rebound down the stretch to keep MIT at bay. Kelly added 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench.  

MIT also featured a trio of double-digit scorers including a game-high from Christina Antonakakis (Holmdel, NJ) who attempted 23 shots on the night, while Gallagher added 14 points and 11 rebounds and Angie Choi (Cypress, CA) tacked on 12 points two assists and two steals.  

The Engineers started the game off on a 9-0 run thanks to four shots by four different players, including a Finken trey. MIT would respond with a few buckets of its own but an Alex Scariati (Scotch Plains, NJ) would help the team to a 12-8 first period lead.  

The second quarter featured an offensive onslaught by both teams as two squads combined for 44 points, 22 apiece. The two teams traded a variety of runs throughout the 10-minute stretch, including MIT who hit three-straight shots in the final 47 seconds of action to make it a six-point halftime game, 34-28 in favor of the Worcester's Engineers.

The third period featured another tight battle, but a Presseau three and Kelly layup in the middle of the frame allowed WPI to add another two points to its lead after 30 minutes of action ultimately reclaiming their lead for the win.  

WPI was 12-of-13 from the charity stripe on the night, including a handful of clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the win from Presseau, Finken and Lisa Cristiano (Valhalla, NY).  

Worcester's Engineers are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they play host to Coast Guard at 1pm on Senior Day while the Cambridge's Engineers will play host to Mount Holyoke also at 1pm on Saturday.