NORTHAMPTON, MA- The Wheaton College women's basketball team extended its winning streak to eight games, the program's longest in 14 seasons, behind Saturday's 61-43 victory at Smith College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action in Ainsworth Gym.
Improving to 10-5 overall and 7-1 in conference play, the Lyons' next target is a ninth straight win, last performed between January 30 and February 20 of 1996. Smith had its four-game win streak come to an end in falling to 8-5 overall and 5-3.
Wheaton senior Andrea Bailey (Needham, MA/Needham) led a balanced scoring effort with 14 points, going 8-of-9 at the charity stripe, to go alongside five assists, five rebounds and three steals. Bailey is just two assists shy of the program's all-time career mark. Sophomore Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, NJ/Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) and freshman Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, CT/Trinity Catholic) contributed 13 points apiece, while senior Ida Kruse (Vershire, VT/Rivendell Academy) pulled down seven rebounds.
Smith freshman Elizabeth BelBruno (Hanover, NH/Hanover) totaled 21 points, shooting 9-of-14 from the field, and grabbed five boards. Senior Lisa Marie Vuono (Lyndhurst, NJ/Montclair Kimberley Academy) had six rebounds.
During a tightly contested opening 10 minutes, neither team led by more than four until a DePalo jumper at 9:53 made the score 19-13 as part of a 14-0 Wheaton run. DePalo and Trimboli played a hand in the team's first 12 points of the stretch. The hosts narrowed their 28-13 deficit to 28-19 by 2:47 before the Lyons tallied five of the half's final seven points for a 33-21 advantage at the break.
Wheaton maintained at least an eight-point edge for nearly the first seven minutes of the second stanza before the Pioneers used an 8-2 run to climb back to within 39-35 on BelBruno's jumper at 11:30. Leading 42-38 with 8:38 remaining, the Lyons regained control and closed the game on a 19-5 run. Wheaton's final 10 points came at the charity stripe, as the visitors went 10-of-11 during that stretch to cap a 20-of-25 performance for the game.
The Lyons remain on the road Wednesday for a league contest at Wellesley College at 7:00 p.m.