January 6, 2010

Lyons stretch winning streak to five after downing Mount Holyoke, 57-46

NORTON, MA- The Wheaton College women's basketball team stretched its winning streak to five games Wednesday night following its 57-46 victory over visiting Mount Holyoke College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action in Emerson Gymnasium.

Wheaton, which was playing in its third straight home game, improved to 7-5 overall and 4-1 in league play.  Mount Holyoke slipped to 4-8 and 2-3.

Senior Jenny Champney (Bedford, MA/Bedford) paced the hosts with 14 points, moving into ninth place on the school's all-time scoring list, and five rebounds.  Freshman Gabby Barbera (Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood) turned in 11 points after hitting a trio of threes, senior Ida Kruse (Vershire, VT/Rivendell Academy) scored seven points, and freshman Natasha Colon Ortiz (Holyoke, MA/Holyoke) pulled down eight rebounds in 11 minutes.

Mount Holyoke senior Erin Cain (Quincy, MA/Fontbonne Academy) went 7-of-7 from the charity stripe to finish with 15 points, while freshman Angelica Pascual (Lawrence, MA/Proctor Academy) neared a double-double with eight points and 11 boards.  Senior Jess Olson (Gilbert, AZ/Highland) added eight points and seven rebounds.

The opening half started with five ties and two lead changes through the first 5:11, with the score knotted at 10, before Wheaton eventually turned a 15-all tie into a commanding 31-17 advantage at the four-minute mark.  The Lyons held Mount Holyoke without a field goal for 9:06.  The visitors scored five of the half's last seven points but trailed 33-22 at the break.

An 11-2 run to open the second frame brought Mount Holyoke to within two at 35-33 with 16:02 to go, but the hosts answered with 10 of the game's next 12 points to lead 45-35 at 8:27.  The visitors narrowed their deficit to six twice but came no closer as Wheaton pushed its advantage back to double digits with just over a minute remaining.

The Blue and White held a decisive edge at the free throw line, going 20-of-26 from the stripe, while Mount Holyoke made 10-of-12.  Both teams experienced cold shooting nights, as Wheaton made 29.1 percent of its attempts to Mount Holyoke's 30.9 percent.  The squads also combined for 45 turnovers.

Wheaton continues its five-game homestand on Saturday with a league contest against defending regular season conference champion Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) at 3:00 p.m. in a rematch of a 2009 NEWMAC Tournament semifinal contest.

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