Second Half Rally Comes Up Short for Women's Basketball at Williams

Alex Scariati - WPI Women's Basketball 2023

Williamstown, MA --- The WPI women's basketball team rallied from a 12-point deficit late in the third quarter to pull even early in the fourth quarter but host Williams held the Engineers to just 2 points in the final 3:45 as the Ephs defeated the Crimson and Gray 58-53 in non-conference tilt played Tuesday evening. 

WPI sees its four-game winning streak snapped and dips to 9-3 on the season while Ephs now have won four straight contests and are 9-4 overall. 

Williams took its largest lead of the game at 47-35 after an Ellie Tounkara (Bethesda, MD) free throw with 1:27 remaining in the third quarter before Engineer point guard Alex Scariati (Scotch Plains, NJ) cobbled together a 3-pointer and a layup to slice the deficit to seven heading to the fourth quarter.  The visitors' surge continued in the opening two minutes of the final stanza as a pair of Melanie Presseau (Manchester, NH) 3-pointers sandwiched around a pair of Adrianna Niles (Tewksbury, MA) of free throws to level the game at 48 with 7:49 to go.  

The Ephs scored the next six points and eventually led 56-51 before Alice Kelly (Wethersfield, CT) connected on a lay-up to make it a one-possession game.  After a prolonged Williams possession that saw the hosts get three shots off, WPI's McKenna Finken (Simsbury, CT) corralled a rebound to give the Engineers a chance to tie but a turnover with 33 seconds remaining and four missed shots in the final 26 seconds denied WPI the comeback victory. 

Scariati led the Engineers in scoring with 11 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, and chipped in with four assists and three boards. Lisa Cristiano (Valhalla, NY) stuffed the stat sheets for WPI with 10 points, a career-high-equaling nine rebounds and a career-best six assists. Presseau and Finken finished with nine points apiece with Presseau's all coming via the long ball and Finken's representing a new season-best.  

Ryann Taylor (Holmdel, NJ) deposited 21 points for the Ephs and was joined in double figures in scoring by Maddy Mandyck (West Hartford, CT) and Cortland McBarron (Fair Haven, NJ), who netted 13 and 10 respectively. The sharpshooting trio combined to shoot 18-for-30 (64.3%) on the night while the rest of the Williams squad was limited to just 3-of-23 (13.0%) shooting on the floor. Mandyck was a force inside with team-highs in rebounding (8) and blocks (4). 

WPI returns home Saturday for its first time in Harrington in a month, hosting New England College at 2pm.  Williams begins the NESCAC portion of its schedule this coming weekend with home games versus Amherst on Friday at 7pm and against Hamilton on Saturday at 3pm.