WORCESTER -- The WPI women's basketball team used a strong second half to post a 66-40 win on the road at crosstown rival Clark in the NEWMAC opener for both squads. The victory gives Engineers' head coach Cherise Galasso her 350th career win at WPI, moving the Crimson and Gray to 11-3 on the season. Clark dipped to 8-7 with the loss.
Galasso, in her 23rd season at the helm of the Engineers, improves her record at WPI to 350-222. Combined with three seasons at Regis, her collegiate coaching record now stands at 385-260.
WPI's Emily Raynowska (Simsbury, CT) led all players with 12 points, adding a career-high 10 rebounds to wrap up her first career double-double. Adrianna Niles (Tewksbury, MA) piled on 10 points and added seven rebounds, while Alex Scariati (Scotch Plains, NJ) had nine points and a game-best seven assists.
Also for WPI, Victoria Mirecki (Washingtonville, NY) added eight points, while Lisa Cristiano (Valhalla, NY) and Melanie Presseau (Manchester, NH) each chipped in with six. Rounding out the Engineer highlights, Alice Kelly (Wethersfield, CT) pulled down 10 rebounds to share game-high honors with Raynowska.
For Clark, Alaina Schatzabel (Kennebunk, ME) led the Cougars with nine points and five rebounds, while Jalin Waters(Waterbury, CT) added eight points and Cam Richey (Upton, MA), seven.
WPI had the hot hand early in the first quarter, jumping out to a 7-3 advantage after a Cariati bucket midway through the action. Clark responded with an 11-4 run to take control of the game, leading 14-11 after one.
Back-to-back lay-ups from Raynowska and five points from Niles started the second for WPI. The nine unanswered points saw WPI regain the lead, 20-14, at the halfway point. Richey scored Clark's first basket of the frame at 4:37 to make it 20-16. The Cougars cut the WPI lead to 21-19 late in the quarter, but another Engineer surge put the visitors up 25-19 at the half.
At the break, WPI held a 47.6% (10-21) to 25% (6-24) shooting advantage, while out-rebounding Clark 19-14. Clark had the edge in the turnover battle, forcing 10 from the Engineers while giving the ball away seven times.
Five straight points opened the third quarter for WPI, putting them up 30-19, the largest lead of the game for either team. Clark cut into the lead and used a 7-1 run to cut the deficit to five on a Faulise three, making it 31-26 with 5:05 to play. After the teams traded threes, WPI used a 7-0 surge to lead 43-29 at the end of three.
Clark scored the first points of the fourth, a pair of Ashley Leighton (Quabbin Reservoir, MA) free throws, but the Engineers' offense was rolling, rattling off a 12-0 run to go up 55-31. The Cougars couldn't get the lead under 20 the rest of the way as WPI closed out Galasso's 350th win on Boynton Hill.
For the game, WPI shot 48.1% (26-54) from the field, holding Clark to just 25.6% (11-43). The Engineers had a large rebounding edge, 41-25, including 22-11 in the second half.
WPI continues NEWMAC play on Wednesday night, hosting No. 8 Smith at 7pm. Clark next plays at non-conference Lesley on Monday, tipping off at 2pm.