WORCESTER – Sophomore Maddie Blake (Bedford, NH) earned MVP honors as the WPI women's basketball team came from behind to win its fifth consecutive Worcester City Tournament title with a 51-45 victory over Worcester State Saturday night in Harrington Auditorium.
Clark had been the only team to have won five or more in-a-row when it claimed the crown from 1996-2005. Oddly enough, the Engineers halted the Cougars bid for a handful in 1995. Worcester State, the first-ever champions in 1979, were seeking their fourth title.
The All-Tournament team featured WPI junior Spencer Vinson (Los Angeles, CA), Worcester State seniors Kaitlyn Berkel (Waterford, CT) and Brittany Herring (West Brookfield, MA), Becker junior Cassidy Harrison (Foxborough, MA) and Clark senior Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, RI).
Both Blake and Vinson, who exceled both nights, each tallied a team-best eight points in the final as Vinson added nine rebounds. Senior Alyssa Paul (Schaghticoke, NY), along with freshmen McKenna Finken (Simsbury, CT) and Bailey Savage (Charlton, MA) scored seven apiece, and rookie Victoria Mirecki (Rock Tavern, NY) totaled three steals.
Berkel and Herring led the Lancers with a dozen points each as Berkel completed a double-double with 10 rebounds and Herring logged three steals. Senior Kate Surprenant (Pelham, NH) chipped in with 11 points. Freshman Calli Korbey (Hopkinton, MA) came off the bench to score six points and haul in five rebounds.
The first period saw the Lancers stake a 17-6 lead. WPI won the final three frames including a 20-10 third period for a 40-39 margin with 10 minutes to play. The hosts were able to finally take the lead following a layup by Finken with 13:13 left in the game. The lead change two more times down the stretch including a game-ending 8-2 run.
Worcester State secured five more rebounds (32-27); however, turned the ball over six more times (18-12).
The Engineers (2-0) head to University of New England for the Hampton Inn Tip-Off Tournament Saturday and Sunday. The Lancers (1-1) host Mount Holyoke Tuesday at 7pm.
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Harrison Pours in 32 as Becker Takes Third at Worcester City Tournament
WORCESTER – Junior Cassidy Harrison (Foxborough, MA) scored 32 points on 9-13 shooting from the field and a 10-10 from the free throw line to lead Becker to a third-place showing at the 2018 Worcester City Tournament with a 70-66 win over Clark Saturday night in WPI's Harrington Auditorium. Harrison was joined on the All-tournament team by Clark senior Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, RI) who handed in a double-double of 21 points and 16 rebounds in the consolation game.
Becker senior Adrianna Dowdy (East Haven, CT) delivered a double-double for the Hawks with 15 points and 11 boards. Senior Ciara McKissick (Charlton, MA) added eight rebounds and five assists while Harrison and sophomore Jazlyn Contreras (Pawtucket, RI) each recorded three steals.
Sophomore Hannah Favaloro (Blackstone, MA) narrowly missed another Clark double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds and senior Cori Ouellette (Madison, CT) chipped in with nine points. The Cougars defense featured five steals by freshman Virginia Benbow (Durham, CT), followed by Ezemma and freshman Camryn Richey (Upton, MA) with three apiece.
Clark held a 45-34 margin off the glass and only committed one more turnover than the Hawks. Both teams registered a dozen assists.
Becker (1-1) travels to University of New England for a 7pm tip on Monday and the Cougars (0-2) host Fitchburg State at 6pm on Wednesday.