Pickering Becomes Program's All-Time Assist Leader as Beavers Fall into Three-Way Tie for First Place in the NEWMAC
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, R.I.) scored eight of her team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter to help visiting WPI edge Babson College, 56-53, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Wednesday night at Staake Gymnasium.
Babson, which saw its four-game winning streak come to an end, is now 19-5 overall and 13-2 in conference play, while WPI improves to 20-4 overall and 12-3 in the NEWMAC.
Senior Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) scored a game-high 19 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists for the Beavers. She also passed Michele Cote '94 as the program's all-time assist with 355th of her career in the fourth quarter. Classmate Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.), who led all players with 11 boards, and sophomore Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) both contributed seven points in the loss.
Juniors Ama Biney (Worcester, Mass.) and Madison Beck (Syracuse, N.Y.) scored 12 points apiece for the Engineers.
Pickering scored eight early points and the Green and White emerged from a first quarter that featured three ties and one lead change with a 20-17 lead. Tamulionis and first-year Emily Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.) combined for eight second-quarter points and the Beavers held WPI to just three field goals to build a 30-24 advantage at the break.
Senior Taylor Russell (Braintree, Mass.) and first-year Jacqueline Jozefick (Milford, Conn.) drilled consecutive three-pointers to help Babson open a 38-26 lead, its biggest of the night, with 4:47 to play in the third. The Engineers ripped off the final 11 points of the third quarter though, including four apiece from Beck and junior Maura Buckley (Melrose, Mass.), to pull within one, but a triple by Tamulionis and a jumper in the lane by Bonifacic stopped the run and pushed the Beavers' edge back to 44-39 with 8:33 to go in the fourth quarter.
WPI once again responded with an 11-0 spurt as Beck converted back-to-back hoops, while Dunphy followed a layup by junior Stasha Greenalch (Newington, Conn.) a pull up jumper to make it 50-44 with 3:40 remaining. Pickering cut the Babson deficit to two with four consecutive free throws with just over a minute to play, and then buried a three-pointer from the top of the key to close the gap to 54-53 with 11 seconds left.
Dunphy went 2-of-2 at the free throw line for the second time in the final 13 seconds and Pickering's desperation three-point attempt from the left wing was off the mark as time expired.
The Green and White shot just 30.6 percent, but scored 28 points off of 19 WPI turnovers and finished with a 40-35 edge on the glass.
The Engineers shot 41.8 percent on the night and outscored the Beavers 28-20 in the paint.
Both teams conclude the regular season on Saturday at 1 p.m. as Babson hosts Springfield, while WPI takes on MIT.
• The Beavers are now 34-22 all-time against WPI, although the teams have split their last four meetings.
• Wednesday's loss was the first in 19 games this season for Babson when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
• The Beavers are now 0-2 this season when failing to score 60 points.
• Babson is now 15-2 on the year when forcing at least 18 turnovers.