CAMBRIDGE, MA- The Wheaton College women's basketball team fell out of second place in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) standings Thursday night, as the Lyons dropped a 75-65 overtime game to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Rockwell Cage.
Suffering its second straight league loss, Wheaton falls to 13-9 overall and 10-5 in the NEWMAC, while the Engineers snapped their three-game losing skid to improve to 5-16 and 3-12.
Senior Andrea Bailey (Needham, MA/Needham) turned in a huge game for the Lyons, nearing a triple-double with 17 points, a career-best 14 rebounds and seven assists in 41 minutes of action. She shot 6-of-12 from the field and 5-of-9 from three-point territory. Three other players racked up double-figure scoring, including senior Jenny Champney (Bedford, MA/Bedford), who had 12 points and eight boards.
Freshman Gabby Barbera (Ridgewood, NJ/Ridgewood) shot 4-of-10 from three for 12 points, while classmate Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, CT/Trinity Catholic) added three triples for 11 points. Bailey, Champney and Trimboli all fouled out, as Wheaton was charged with 25 fouls compared to MIT's nine. The Engineers went 16-of-27 at the charity stripe, while the Lyons were just 3-of-8.
All of MIT's starters played a minimum of 39 minutes, with three seeing at least 41, as freshman Aparna Sud (Wellesley, MA/Dana Hall School) led the way with 27 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Senior Sally Simpson (Minneapolis, MN/Academy of the Holy Angels) and first-year Lauren Sascha Burton (Seattle, WA/Nathan Hale) each had 17 points, with Sascha Burton adding eight assists and Simpson grabbing seven rebounds. Freshman Stephanie Cooke (Lanoka Harbor, NJ/Lacey Township) had 10 boards.
After trailing 33-24 at halftime and 55-49 with 57 ticks to go in regulation, Bailey buried three threes in just 31 seconds to force overtime, as a combined 12 points were scored in the last 35 ticks. Bailey's long-range shots came with 35, 15 and four seconds to go, forcing a 58-all knot and an extra session.
Wheaton scored first in overtime for a 60-58 edge before the hosts took over, going on a 15-3 run. Barbera's three at 1:47 brought the Lyons to within 67-63, but the Engineers secured the win by going 8-of-12 on free-throw tries after the Lyon triple, including hitting their final six attempts.
Outside of taking an early lead to start the game, Wheaton trailed for the bulk of play, including falling behind by as many as 12 in the opening half. Trimboli's three-pointer at 1:32 of the first frame cut the Blue and White deficit to 33-24 entering the break.
In the second half, MIT pushed its advantage back out to 12 at 41-29 with 15:53 on the clock before the Lyons slowly chipped away. Wheaton used a 10-2 stretch to climb to within 46-43 at 7:22, and after a Bailey trey made it 51-48 with 5:23 to play, neither team scored for more than three minutes. Two Cooke freebies pushed the Engineer lead to 55-49 with 57 ticks left, setting up Bailey's impressive offensive display in the waning seconds.
Wheaton looks to get back on the winning track on Saturday, as the Lyons welcome Smith College on Senior Day for a 2:00 p.m. start.