SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - Aided by points from 14 different scorers, the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) basketball team posted a 61-16 victory over Mount Holyoke College in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener for both teams. The Engineers are now 5-0 overall, while the homestanding Lyons slip to 0-5 on the young season.
Sophomore guard Alana Keating (Leominster, Mass./St. Bernard's) paced the effort for the visitors, posting a team-best eight points. Senior guard Ama Biney (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name) added a game-high six rebounds and four assists, while junior guard Alyssa Paul (Schaghticoke, N.Y./Hoosic Valley) also recorded a game-best six rebounds. First year Sara Lyons (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon) added seven points, four boards and a game-high two steals and senior guard Stasha Greenalch (Newington, Conn./Newington) had a match-high five assists with a block and five points.
For MHC, junior guard and captain Leah Hodges (New Haven, Conn./Kolbe Cathedral) notched a game-best 10 points with four rebounds, an assist and a steal. Sophomore guard Katlyn Grover (Bernardston, Mass./Stoneleigh Burnham School) added six points and an assist, while first year guard Ireland Clare Kennedy (Oakland, Calif./Holy Names) posted four boards.
In the opening quarter, a jumper from Hodges tied the contest at 2-all, but the Engineers went on a fast run, going up by 12 (14-2) on a three-pointer from senior guard Brittney Lambert (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) with 5:43 to go. The score held over the next two minutes before WPI used another 7-0 stretch for a 21-2 lead. Grover nailed a three-point shot with 39 seconds of the clock, pulling it to 21-5 to conclude the quarter.
MHC continued to inch back in the second frame as Hodges landed another jumper at the 8:59 mark (21-7), but a 20-0 run over the remainder of the quarter sent WPI into intermission with the 41-7 advantage.
Another Hodges make at 2:04 of the third cut the Engineers lead to 52-9, but strong ball movement and a final shot with 11 seconds to go by first year guard Meg Donovan (Abington, Mass./Archbishop Williams) gave the visitors the solid edge heading into the final stanza.
Keating made it a 59-10 lead for WPI with 4:22 to play in the fourth quarter, but the Lyons fought back as Hodges nailed a shot from downtown, followed a minute later by a three-pointer from Grover to pull MHC to within 59-16. Despite the momentum, the Lyons were unable to battle back.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday as Mount Holyoke hosts conference-foe MIT at 1pm, while WPI travels down the road to Smith for a 2pm NEWMAC tilt.