NORTON, MA- Senior Jenny Champney (Bedford, MA/Bedford) and freshman Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, CT/Trinity Catholic) combined to score 29 of the Wheaton College women's basketball team's 51 points on Saturday afternoon, as the Lyons posted a 51-42 victory over the United States Coast Guard Academy in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest in Emerson Gymnasium.
Wheaton, which improves to 12-7 overall and 9-3 in the NEWMAC, picked up its third straight victory over the Bears for the first time since the 1998-99 through 2000-01 seasons. Coast Guard dropped its eighth straight game to fall to 4-12 and 3-9.
Champney shot 5-of-9 from the field and 5-of-6 at the charity stripe for 16 points to go alongside five rebounds. Trimboli tacked on 13 points and three steals. Senior Andrea Bailey (Needham, MA/Needham) contributed five points, five boards and six assists.
Senior Melissa Martinelli (Vero Beach, FL/Sebastian River) turned in 17 points and seven rebounds for Coast Guard, while classmate Sabrina Taylor (Lake Worth, FL/Lake Worth) and freshman Karli Collins (Delavan, WI/Delavan-Darien) added eight points apiece.
A slow offensive start didn't see the initial basket drop until 16:55 of the first half, as Coast Guard took a 2-0 lead. Neither team led by more than three points until 8:32, as the hosts were in the midst of ripping off 12 straight points during 3:17 for a 20-11 edge at 6:00. Champney had six points in the run. With Wheaton holding onto a 22-14 lead with 2:14 to play before the break, Martinelli hit a pair of jumpers to close out the half, as the Bears trailed 22-18.
Coast Guard hit one more field goal than the Lyons in the half but didn't attempt a free throw, while Wheaton knocked down five freebies while holding a 20-9 rebounding advantage. The Blue and White finished the game with a 40-23 edge on the glass.
In the second frame, the Lyons pushed their lead to 27-20 1:18 in before the visitors answered with seven straight points for a 27-all tie at 16:27, as Martinelli had five points during the stretch. However, freshman Gabby Barbera's (Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood) three 27 seconds later provided Wheaton with the lead for good. Her shot triggered an 8-0 run, and the hosts eventually ballooned their advantage out to 12 points at 45-33 with 6:45 left. The Bears cut their deficit to six at 5:12 but came no closer.
Wheaton hits the road on Wednesday for a league game at Clark University at 7:30 p.m., joining the Lyon men, who play the Cougars at 5:30 p.m.