NORTON, MA- Wheaton College women's basketball head coach Melissa Hodgdon earned her 100th victory at the institution on Saturday when her Lyons downed New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) rival Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), 64-63 in overtime at Emerson Gymnasium. She joined Del Malloy as the lone coaches in program history to hit the century milestone.
Hodgdon came to Wheaton after picking up 12 wins between the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Now 100-77 with the Lyons, Hodgdon has orchestrated one of the most dramatic turnarounds in school history during her seven-year tenure, as she was named NEWMAC Coach of the Year in 2008 after leading the squad to its initial NEWMAC regular season and postseason crowns and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1995.
Hodgdon's first squad tied for eighth in the conference during the 2003-04 campaign and missed the postseason, but the Lyons were above .500 by 2005-06 to snap the program's five-year run of losing records before going 19-11 the following winter, reaching the NEWMAC Tournament semifinals and falling by just one point in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament title game at WPI.
In 2007-08, Wheaton went 22-7 overall and 12-1 in league play before winning all three NEWMAC Tournament games to claim its first postseason crown since 1995, when the Blue and White competed in the New England Women's 8 Conference (NEW 8). The Lyons narrowly lost in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament to Tufts University, 71-67.
Wheaton continued its strong play last winter, going 17-11 overall and 9-4 in the league before advancing to its second straight NEWMAC Tournament title game, where the fourth-seeded Lyons stood tied with eventual champion Babson College with a little more than two minutes remaining.
This season, Hodgdon has guided the Lyons to an 8-5 mark, including a 5-1 showing in the league, entering tonight's 7:00 p.m. contest with visiting Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Wheaton is gunning to finish above .500 for the fifth straight season, a feat last accomplished during an eight-year run from 1990-91 to 1997-98.