Women's Basketball Races to First Victory

Women's Basketball Races to First Victory

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Kellie Messer (Hollis, N.H.) recorded a double-double as she scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to help pace the Wentworth Institute of Technology women's basketball team to its first win of the season, 66-52, of the University of St. Joseph.

With the win the Leopards snap a 12-game losing streak dating back to last season and improve to 1-3 on the season. The Blue Jays fall to 2-2 on the season with the loss.

USJ took a pair of three-point leads in the first quarter with the last coming after a senior Elisha Pertillar (Windsor, Conn.) layup with 4:52 left. Wentworth used a 15-4 run over the next 3:37 and took a 20-14 lead on a freshman Sam McGibbon (Pembroke, Mass.) three pointer. A sophomore Baylor Johnson (Greer, S.C.) three with three seconds left in the gave the hosts a 23-16 lead at the end of the quarter. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the floor in the opening frame as Wentworth connected on 57.1 percent of its shots and USJ 53.8 percent.

Wentworth upped its lead to 10 on two occasions early in the second quarter with Messer converted a three-point play and junior Haley Sabino (Topsfield, Mass.) hit a jumper. The Blue Jays scored the next five points to cut the lead in half on a pair of junior Kayla Guest (Newington, Conn.) free throws with 6:55 left. A 7-0 run upped the lead to 12 after sophomore Francesca Matira (Ledyard, Conn.) hit a pair of free throws with 5:55 left.

The Leopards increased their lead to 15 late in the first half on a freshman Samantha Madden (Plainville, Mass.) three pointer and carried that lead into the locker room.

USJ cut the lead to as few as seven on two occasions in the third quarter with sophomore Jada Lewis (East Hartford, Conn.) hitting a jumper with 2:21 remaining to make it 52-45. A layup from junior Courtney McCormick (Hanson, Mass.) with 19 seconds left brought the lead to 10 at the end of three quarters.

After junior Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn.) opened the fourth quarter with a layup, Wentworth put the game out of reach with an 8-0 run, capped off by a three-point play from Sabino.

In addition to her double-double, Messer had three assists. McGibbon had 14 points and three rebounds while Sabino had nine points and six rebounds and Johnson had nine points and four rebounds. Wentworth had a 46-40 rebounding advantage on the night.

Mayo had a game-high 19 points to go along with seven rebounds. Senior Carlee Putnam (Niantic, Conn.) had 11 points, five rebounds, five assists, and five steals. Guest had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Wentworth hosts Suffolk on Monday night.