Huge Second Half Leads WPI Past Coast Guard in NEWMAC Tournament

Huge Second Half Leads WPI Past Coast Guard in NEWMAC Tournament

WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior Ama Biney and senior Priscilla Dunphy each had a game-high 18 points and third-seeded WPI outscored the Bears 38-14 in the second half to beat sixth-seeded Coast Guard 68-38 in the quarterfinals of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament.

WPI improves to 22-4 and will take on seventh-seeded Clark, which upset second-seeded Springfield 65-54, in the semifinals at top-seeded Babson on Saturday.

Coast Guard, which earned a berth in the NEWMAC tournament for the fifth straight season and won eight of nine to close out the regular season, finishes with a record of 11-15. WPI eliminates the Bears from the tournament for the third time in the last five years.

The Bears had won five straight road games and lost their first road game since a loss at MIT on Jan. 21st and were held to a season-low 38 points.

WPI, which led 30-24 at halftime, led 37-28 with 6:14 left in the third quarter, before the Engineers scored 11 straight to take a commanding 48-28 lead with 2:01 left in the third.

Coast Guard's leading scorer and rebounder Gill Gerton picked up her fourth foul with 3:57 left in the quarter and WPI outscored the Bears 20-7 in  the quarter and led 50-31 after three quarters. The Engineers would score the first seven points of the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Gerton led the Bears with 10 points before fouling out and she moved into a tie for tenth place on the Bears all-time rebounding list finishing the season with 566 rebounds tying Phyllis Blanton ('87).

Freshman Breanna Wood and sophomore Johanna Moolenaar each had five rebounds to lead the Bears. Coast Guard turned it over 20 times while WPI had just six turnovers.

WPI shot 42.9 percent (24-56) in the win and 13-25 in the second half while making 9 of 19 from 3-point range. Coast Guard shot 35 percent in the game (14-40), just 5 of 21 in the second half and the Bears were 4 of 15 from behind the arc.

Coast Guard got off to a quick start taking a 9-1 lead following a 3-pointer by sophomore Micaela Martinelli with 6:25 left before the Engineers responded with 10 straight points taking an 11-9 lead with two minutes left in the first quarter.

The game was tied 12-12 after one quarter. The Bears had four turnovers in the first quarter which led to 10 of WPI's 12 points .

Biney hit a 3-pointer and then added a steal and layup to cap an 8-0 run as WPI took a 24-18 lead with 3:58 left in the half. She would score ten straight points for the Engineers as WPI took a 29-22 lead with 1:48 remaining in the first half.

WPI shot 35.5 percent in the first half (11-31) while making 5 of 12 from 3-point range while Coast Guard was 9 of 19 from the floor (47.4 percent) and made 2 of 6 from behind the arc.

Amanda Roy, the only senior on the Coast Guard team, leaves with an Academy record 65 wins over her four years. Meghan Fornaro and Torie Sutherland, who graduated last year, held the record with 64 career wins.

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