WESTON, Mass. – For the second straight game, Regis College established an early lead, allowed its opponent to close the margin in the third quarter, and then pulled away in the fourth quarter, as the Pride defeated WPI, 57-42, Saturday afternoon in a non-conference women's collegiate basketball game at Higgins Court.
Nikki Bitinaitis (Cromwell, Conn.) led the Pride in scoring with 12 points, while Pam Gonzalez (Revere, Mass.) finished with 11 points, five rebounds, and five steals. Mackenzie Emery (Standish, Maine) and Katryna Veasey (Quincy, Mass.) ended up with eight points apiece, and Marissa Prall (Hopkinton, Mass.) hit two three-pointers to join Arie Searcy (Santa Rosa, Calif.) and Taylor Iorfino (Monroe, Conn.) with six points each.
WPI (4-2) scored the first three points of the game, but Regis quickly responded with a 12-2 scoring run, led by five points from Emery. In the final minute of the first quarter, Veasey hit a layup off an assist by Emery, but Alex Scariati set up Spencer Vinson for her own layup to close the Pride lead to 16-9 heading into the second quarter.
Gonzalez started a 7-1 Pride scoring run with a three-pointer one minute into the second period, and then the two teams traded points throughout the rest of the quarter. After two free throws by WPI's Eileen Piombino, Iorfino hit a jumper to give Regis a 29-18 halftime advantage.
The Engineers scored eight unanswered points in the third quarter to close to within three at 33-30 as Regis did not make a field goal in the first eight-and-a-half minutes of the period. Gonzalez finally broke through with a three-pointer, but a layup by Sara Lyons off an assist from Vinson cut the WPI deficit to 38-34 heading into the fourth quarter.
Prall's two three-pointers came in the first three minutes of the fourth period, starting an 11-1 scoring run as the Pride held the Engineers without a field goal through almost the first seven minutes. Vinson's traditional three-point play was answered by a jumper from Veasey, keeping the Regis advantage in double digits the rest of the game.
Vinson notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Lyons earned eight points, six rebounds, and three steals for the Engineers. As a team, WPI was held to 28.3 percent (13-of-46) field goal shooting, plus it made only 59.3 percent (16-of-27) of its free throw attempts.
The Pride shot 37 percent (17-of-46) from the field, including 6-of-14 from behind the three-point line, and 81 percent (17-of-21) from the free throw line as they became the first WPI opponent to score at least 50 points this season. Regis also scored 20 points off 21 turnovers by the Engineers.
WPI will continue its non-conference schedule with a contest at Nichols Tuesday, Nov. 26, starting at 6 p.m.
Regis (3-4) hits the road to face Fitchburg State Tuesday, Nov. 26, also a 6 p.m. tipoff. The Falcons will be closing out a three-game homestand after losses to WPI and Albertus Magnus.