WELLESLEY, Mass – The visiting WPI Engineers used high-percentage shooting and solid rebounding to down Wellesley College 57-49 on Saturday afternoon at Keohane Sports Center. The Engineers shot 49% from the field while holding the Blue to 30%. The visitors also out-rebounded the hosts 36-26 in the key late-season match-up. WPI now stands 9-14 on the year, 7-9 in the NEWMAC. Wellesley is 11-10 overall, 10-6 in conference play.
The Engineers capitalized on eight early points from Dani Davis to build a 15-9 advantage midway through the first period. Wellesley answered with an 8-0 run, including treys from Kendall Bianchi and Malia Maier, to grab a 17-15 edge before WPI's Siena Mamayek stopped the bleeding with layup at the 7:05 mark.
Wellesley went on a mini-run to open a 24-19 lead, including four straight from Maier. But the Engineers cut the gap with two buckets from Theresa Logan, then grabbed a 27-26 edge with a jumper from Cindy Chelius. A driving layup from Maier gave the Blue a narrow 28-27 lead at the break.
Wellesley came out hot to start the second half, with points from Maier, Leslie Leong, and Meghan Sargent, to build a 37-31 lead with 13:45 remaining. The Engineers cut the advantage with four straight from Chelius, putting the score at 39-35 midway through the period. Three minutes later, Chelius tied the game at 41-41, and a layup from Logan gave the visitors a two-point lead with 5:35 remaining.
After the teams traded baskets, a trey from WPI's Lauren Hannmann gave the visitors a 48-43 lead with 3:05 left on the clock. A minute later, Mamayek pushed the lead to 51-44 with a traditional three- point play and followed 30 seconds later with a layup to seal the game, as WPI cruised to a 57-49 win.
WPI was led by 14 points and a game-high 11 boards from Logan, as she recorded her first double-double of the year and the fifth of her career. Davis and Chelius chipped in 12 points each, while Davis also pulled down six boards. Rounding out the box score for the Engineers, Mamayek added nine points, six boards, while Lauren Hannmann recorded eight points, six rebounds.
Wellesley was paced by Maier who scored 16 points while adding six steals and six assists. Leong recorded 14 points, while Morgyne Weaver led the Blue on the boards with seven rebounds. Elisha Orama dished out four assists, while Meghan Sargent added five points in the loss.
Before the game, Wellesley honored Orama on senior day. A Psychology major from Miramar, Florida, she is a four-year member of the team, serving as a captain this season. Orama has compiled career totals of 368 points, 219 rebounds, 126 assists and 83 steals appearing in 85 games for Wellesley. The team has improved in each of her four seasons in Blue, with Orama guiding the team to a program record for NEWMAC victories this season. On campus, she was a four-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and works at the front desk of the Sports Center.
Today was also "Play 4 Kay Day," a breast cancer fundraiser sponsored by the WBCA. All donations and proceeds will benefit Clare Droesch, former BC basketball standout, age 29, who was recently diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer.
Both teams return to action Wednesday, February 15, at 7pm, when WPI travels to Smith and Wellesley plays at Coast Guard.