BOSTON, Mass. – Junior Carly Rogers (Scarborough, Maine) led the Leopards with a double-double (17 points and 10 rebounds), as the Wentworth Institute of Technology women’s basketball team defeated Smith College 48-44 in non-conference play on Tuesday night at Tansey Gymnasium.
With the win in the first-ever meeting between the two schools, the Leopards snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 2-3 while the Pioneers dropped their fourth straight to stand at 1-4.
Freshman Samantha Alakai (Honolulu, Hawaii) scored first two points by drawing a shooting foul and sinking both her free throws. Both teams exchanged leads early in the half, but the Leopards jumped out with 11 unanswered points strung together by three jump shots, a pair of free throws, and a Megan McLaughlin (Southington, Conn.) 3-point shot to put Wentworth up 13-5 halfway through the first.
Following a 3-pointer from sophomore Mandy Castro (San Diego, Calif.) and a layup from sophomore Jade Chihara (Lahaina, Hawaii), Wentworth put up nine straight to lead 22-10 with 6:40 remaining in the half. Smith cut the lead to eight on two occasions with strong play on the boards, but Wentworth gained back the double-digit lead with a freshman Riselly Deoleo (Manchester, N.H.) jump shot at 3:25 to lead 26-16. Wentworth closed the half on an 8-2 run, capped off by a Rogers layup at the buzzer to go into halftime up 32-18. Wentworth shot 46 percent from the floor in the first half and held the Pioneers to 25 percent.
Smith didn’t back down going into the second stanza, as the Pioneers cut down the lead to four with 9:32 after a senior Alyssa Barrett (Berlin, Conn.) jump shot. Wentworth brought the score to 48-39 at 6:24 with a jump shot from sophomore Kellie Messer (Hollis, N.H.) before neither side would score for five minutes, as steals and blocks by both sides prevented any scoring changes. Castro (San Diego, Calif.) made a layup with 90 seconds left to come within seven and 30 seconds later, Barrett nailed a 3-pointer to come within four points of tying. Wentworth held down the Smith offense in the closing seconds, as the Leopards walked away with the 48-44 victory.
Alakai led the Pioneers with 14 points and six rebounds, while Castro had 10 points, six assists, and four steals.
Deoleo had 10 points, four steals, three blocks, and collected four rebounds, while junior Megan McLaughlin (Southington, Conn.) had nine points and six assists for the Black & Gold.
The Leopards play their first Commonwealth Coast Conference game of the season on Wednesday, December 3 when they travel to Salve Regina for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off. Smith also plays in its first conference game of the season on December 3, as they host Springfield College at 7 p.m.