BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore Linnett Graber (Roseland, N.J.) poured in a game-high 20 points, and Babson College held visiting WPI to just three second-half field goals to pull away for a 62-38 victory in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Staake Gymnasium.
The win stopped a two-game skid for Babson, which is now 2-5 overall and 2-3 in league play, while WPI drops to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the conference.
Graber finished 7-for-14 from the floor and went 7-for-11 from the free throw line while also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out a game-high three assists for the Beavers. Junior Lindsey Roche (Arlington, Mass.) and sophomore Kristen Ferola (Amherst, Mass.) each chipped in with eight points, and sophomore Megan Otto (Scituate, Mass.) snatched a game-high nine boards.
Junior Dani Davis (East Granby, Conn.) led the Engineers with 13 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Haili Welton (Southbury, Conn.) added seven points and classmate Jessica Larsen (San Diego, Calif.) hauled down a team-high seven caroms.
Graber scored nine of her 11 first-half points in the opening 6:40 to help Babson open up a 16-10 lead with 12:07 to go in the period. First-year Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.) and WPI senior Siena Mamayek (Melrose, Mass.) traded scores before the Green and White used a 6-0 spurt to grab its biggest lead of the half at 24-12 with 6:53 left before the break.
First-year Gena Restiano (Revere, Mass.) buried a jumper, Ferola got a layup following an offensive rebound by Otto, and first-year Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) converted a feed from Ferola in transition to cap the run. The Engineers, who started 6-for-12 from the floor, made just four of their last 17 field goal attempts to close the first half, but got a jumper from sophomore Yasmeen Luna (North Providence, R.I.) at the buzzer to cut the Babson lead to 29-20 at the break.
Leading by double figures for most of the second half, Babson held WPI to just one field goal over the first 19:12 of the period and outscored the visitors 22-8 over the final 7:54 of the game. Leading 40-30 following a pair of free throws from Davis, Beavers' sophomore Briana Hunt (Newton, Mass.) drained a three-pointer from the right corner, Roche hit two free throws, and then followed two foul shots from Engineers' junior Rachel Pineda (Shrewsbury, Mass.) with a jumper to make it 47-32.
Graber knocked down one of two free throws on the next possession, and Ferola converted a layup following a steal by Graber to give the Green and White a 50-32 edge with 5:03 to go. Davis hit two more free throws for WPI, but Babson scored seven straight points to take its biggest lead of the game at 61-34 with 1:41 remaining.
The Beavers shot a season-high 45.8 percent (22-for-48) from the floor and held a 40-31 advantage on the glass. The Engineers shot 26.5 percent (13-for-49) on the day, and were just 1-for-15 from three-point range for the game.
Babson will break for exams before returning to action against 13th-ranked Williams on December 19 in Daytona Beach, Fla., while WPI will host Anna Maria on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Babson is now 28-20 all-time against WPI and has won 11 straight in the series going back to the 2009-10 season…The Beavers have shot 41 percent or better from the field in three of their four NEWMAC-home games this season…Babson committed a season-low 13 turnovers on Saturday, and outscored the Engineers 26-6 in the paint.