BABSON PARK, MA- Senior Andrea Bailey (Needham, MA/Needham) came within one assist and one rebound of a triple-double, but her fourth-seeded Wheaton College women's basketball team was knocked out of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament by number-one Babson College, 68-55 on Saturday in a semifinal contest in Staake Gymnasium.
The Lyons finished their season at 16-11, while Babson extended its winning streak to a program-record 16 games and is now 24-3. The defending-champion Beavers, who have now won 24 straight against NEWMAC teams, will play either second-seeded Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) or number-six Wellesley College on Sunday in the championship game for the right to represent the league in the NCAA Tournament.
Wheaton, which was appearing in a semifinal for the fourth straight year and looked to make its third straight final, received a standout performance from Bailey, who notched 17 points and four three-pointers to go along with nine rebounds and nine assists, including the 500th of her career. She and senior Jenny Champney (Bedford, MA/Bedford) were each appearing in their school-record 114th career contest, as Champney finished with 15 points and ended her career fifth all time at Wheaton with 1,240 points. Classmate Ida Kruse (Vershire, VT/Rivendell Academy) and freshman Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, CT/Trinity Catholic) added eight points each.
Sophomore Kathleen King (Framingham, MA/Framingham) notched 23 points and eight rebounds for the Beavers, while classmate Nicole Wurdeman (Rowley, MA/Triton Regional) had 13 points and eight boards. Freshman Sarah Collins (Weymouth, MA/Weymouth) contributed 13 points, seven caroms and five blocks, while junior Damisi Adewumi (Bronx, NY/Academy of Mount Saint Ursula) turned in 11 rebounds. Babson picked up 21 of its 48 rebounds on the offensive end and forced 24 turnovers while collecting 10 blocks and 15 steals.
The hosts extended a 10-point halftime lead to 37-23 early in the second stanza before the Lyons began to chip away. Bailey found Champney for a jumper and Trimboli for a three 15 seconds apart, as the deficit melted to 37-28 with 18:19 left. With the hoop, Trimboli became the first Lyon other than Bailey or Champney to score.
Babson pushed its advantage back to 11, at 39-28, before Wheaton made a 7-1 charge, creeping within 40-35 on a pair of Trimboli freebies at 13:46. The Beavers quickly regrouped, scoring the next 11 points in a matter of 2:22 to post their biggest lead of the game to that point, 51-35. The Lyons later fell behind by a 61-44 count before Bailey assisted a Kruse bucket and Trimboli's three that brought them within 61-49 at 4:23. The second dish was Bailey's 500th. However, the Beavers tallied the next seven points in 2:01 to put the game out of reach.
During the early portion of the game, Babson scored five straight points for a 7-2 lead before the Lyons crept within one, as Bailey canned a three and Champney hit a freebie at 16:56 of the first half, but the Beavers responded with the next five points, forging ahead 12-6 on King's jumper with 14:56 remaining. After Bailey knocked down a long-range shot at 11:47 to cut the Lyon deficit to three, the hosts put together a 10-2 run during a 4:09 stretch, with Bailey's baseline drive and lay-up accounting for Wheaton's only points in that time. Wurdeman had four points during the Beaver run. Babson's lead at that point stood at 22-11, but Bailey found Champney for a hoop before nailing a three to make it 22-16 at 5:58. The Beavers pushed their lead back out to nine, but Champney made consecutive hoops 24 seconds to apart to draw her team within 25-20 at 3:52.
Bailey made her fourth three-pointer of the half with 3:22 to go, producing a 27-23 score, but Babson tallied the stanza's final six points, all within the last 1:28, to take a 33-23 advantage into halftime. At that point, Bailey and Champney had combined for all 23 of the Lyons' points, with Bailey netting 14 and Champney nine. Wurdeman's 10 points paced the Beavers, who had seven players score during the period and went 8-of-16 from the charity stripe to Wheaton's 1-of-2 showing.