NORTON, MA- The Wheaton College women's basketball team dropped its second game of the season to New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) leader Babson College on Wednesday night, suffering a 69-50 setback after holding a 38-30 halftime edge in Emerson Gymnasium.
Falling to 11-7 overall and 8-3 in league play, the Lyons are now tied with Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) for second place in the conference standings, while the Beavers extended their winning streak to seven games while improving to 15-3 and 11-0.
Freshman Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, CT/Trinity Catholic) was Wheaton's lone player in double figures with 13 points. Senior Ida Kruse (Vershire, VT/Rivendell Academy) recorded nine points and eight rebounds, while classmate Andrea Bailey (Needham, MA/Needham) added eight points and six assists. Freshman Natasha Colon Ortiz (Holyoke, MA/Holyoke) turned in seven points and seven rebounds during 14 minutes off the Lyon bench.
Babson sophomore Nicole Wurdeman (Rowley, MA/Triton Regional) turned in an all-around solid performance with 17 points, seven blocks, four rebounds and three steals, while freshman Allanah Wynn (Quincy, MA/Milton Academy) tallied 17 points and five assists. Classmate Sarah Collins (Weymouth, MA/Weymouth) contributed 13 points and five boards off the bench, and sophomore Kathleen King (Framingham, MA/Framingham) added seven points, nine boards and four steals.
After a slow start that saw Babson trail 38-30 at the break, the Beavers ripped off 39 of the second half's 51 points, shooting 58.6 percent while stymieing Wheaton's offense, as the Lyons made just three field goals and shot 9.1 percent. The visitors came out of the second-half gate strong, scoring 15 of the frame's first 19 points for a lead that wasn't relinquished, as Babson was carried by Wurdeman's 11 points for a 45-42 edge just 5:28 in.
The Lyons were held to six points for more than the first half of the second stanza but trailed by just four thanks in part to its eight offensive rebounds by the 10:39 mark. Four straight points brought Wheaton to within 49-48 before the Beavers closed things out on a 20-2 run in the final 8:26.
Both teams hit on 12 field goals in the opening half, with the Lyons doing so on seven fewer attempts, shooting 44.4 percent from the floor, 46.2 percent beyond the three-point arc and 88.9 percent on free throws. Bailey's three 13 seconds in triggered an 8-2 Wheaton run before the Beavers answered with six straight points for the first of six ties in the half. The hosts hit seven of their first 13 shots, including going 4-of-5 from deep, to lead 19-15. Babson knocked down seven of its initial 14 attempts.
With the hosts holding a 21-15 advantage following two Champney free throws at 10:29, the Beavers scored seven straight to take a 22-21 lead with 8:28 to go before intermission. The teams stayed within two points of one another until Wheaton finished the half on a 10-2 spurt over the last 3:21 to lead 38-30, as four different Lyons scored during the run. The hosts had an eight-point advantage despite Babson holding a 22-14 edge on the boards.
The Lyons remain at home on Saturday to face the United States Coast Guard Academy in the tail end of a doubleheader with the men at 3:00 p.m. The games will include a voluntary gate to assist in the Haitian relief efforts following January 12's tragic earthquake.