Gators Drop Game to Leopards

Gators Drop Game to Leopards

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Junior Haley Sabino (Topsfield, Mass.) recorded a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to help pace the Wentworth Institute of Technology women's basketball team to a come-from-behind, 65-54 victory over Pine Manor in a non-conference match-up Saturday afternoon.

Snapping a four-game losing streak the Leopards improve to 2-7 on the season while the Gators drop their third straight contest to stand at 4-7 on the season.

Pine Manor junior Shaquanda Middleton scored the first five points of the contest to give the Gators a 5-0 lead with 7:43 remaining in the quarter. An 11-0 Wentworth run, capped off by a Sabino layup, gave the Leopards an 11-5 lead with 2:50 left. During the run freshman Sam McGibbon (Pembroke, Mass.) had a pair of three pointers.

Middleton scored four of her team's five points to cut the lead to 11-10 with just under two minutes left, however sophomore Michelle McCloskey (Madison, Conn.) hit a layup with just under a minute left giving the visitors a 13-10 lead after the first 10 minutes of play. Wentworth held Pine Manor to 16.7 percent shooting in the opening frame.

Wentworth was held to 21.1 percent in the second quarter as the Gators took a 32-25 halftime lead. Pine Manor opened the quarter with a three-point play from freshman Nyjayah Gibson (New Haven, Conn.) and a three pointer from Middleton to take a 16-13 lead and senior Shaneka Monroe (Jersey City, N.J.) followed with a layup increasing the lead to five. Sabino ended the run with a layup, however one of two free throws from junior Siera Robinson (Acworth, Ga.) made it a four-point (19-15) game with 8:09 remaining.

Neither team would score for nearly three minutes, however freshman Samantha Madden (Plainville, Mass.) scored four straight points to tie the game at 19-all with just under five minutes remaining.

Pine Manor used a 10-0 run to break the tie and take a 29-19 lead with 2:54 remaining. Junior Tiana Jordan (Boston, Mass.) had six points during the run and Monroe had four. Wentworth chipped away, scoring the next six points and cutting the deficit to four on a sophomore Francesca Matira (Ledyard, Conn.) jumper with a minute left. However, a Middleton three-point play with 16 ticks left gave the hosts a 32-25 lead at the break.

The Gators upped their lead to as many as nine in the third quarter when Middleton converted a layup with four minutes left in the frame. A McCloskey layup and three pointer from Matira made it a 44-40 game with 1:30 left, however two free throws from Monroe made it a 46-40 game after three quarters.

Wentworth rallied in the fourth quarter by shooting 62.5 percent from the floor and holding the hosts to just 13.3 percent. After a Jordan basket to open the quarter made it 48-40, the Leopards outscored the Gators 16-0 over the next 6:06 to take a 56-48 lead. During the run junior Courtney McCormick (Hanson, Mass.) had five points while Madden and McGibbon had three apiece. Two Gibson free throws cut the lead to 56-50 with 2:42 left, however Sabino scored six straight points to put the game out of reach.

Fourteen of Sabino's 18 points came in the second half as she connected on 6-of-9 shots from the floor and grabbed nine rebounds over the final 20 minutes. McGibbon scored nine points while McCormick and Madden had eight apiece. McCloskey added seven points and eight rebounds and senior Kellie Messer (Hollis, N.H.) had nine rebounds.

Monroe led all scorers with 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Middletown had 17 points and three steals.