Huge second half propels Lyons to season-opening 53-36 victory

NORTON, MA- The Wheaton College women's basketball team experienced a tale of two halves during its season opener against non-league foe Roger Williams University on Tuesday night, as the Lyons used a 35-15 advantage in the second frame to surge to a 53-36 victory in Emerson Gymnasium after scoring just 18 first-half points.

Senior Jenny Champney (Bedford, MA/Bedford) turned in an all-around solid performance for the Lyons, registering a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds to go alongside four steals and three blocks.  Freshman Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, CT/Trinity Catholic) hit a trio of three-pointers to finish with 11 points and four assists, while senior Ida Kruse (Vershire, VT/Rivendell Academy) had 10 points.  Classmate Andrea Bailey (Needham, MA/Needham) recorded a game-high five assists.

For Roger Williams, freshman Elizabeth Kilzi (Waverly, PA/Abington Heights) recorded nine points, sophomore Ryan Weekes (Worcester, MA/Holy Name Central Catholic) tallied seven points and eight rebounds, while sophomore Paige Congdon (Westwood, MA/Westwood) and freshman Rachel Chuckran (Bridgewater, MA/Bridgewater-Raynham Regional) each pulled down eight boards.

After shooting just 25.9 percent from the floor in the opening half with no three-pointers and shooting 33.3 percent from the foul line, Wheaton hit on 51.9 percent of its second-half shots, including going 3-of-4 beyond the three-point stripe.  The Lyons held the Hawks to 21.4 percent shooting in the second stanza, as the visitors made just six field goals and were 0-of-10 on threes.

Kruse's lay-up nine seconds into the second half and six straight points by Champney propelled Wheaton to an 8-0 run and a 26-21 advantage with 16:28 remaining.  A bucket by Roger Williams sophomore Danielle Perrault (Ridgefield, CT/Trinity Catholic) gave the visitors a 31-30 edge with 9:21 to go, but it was all Wheaton after that, as the Lyons closed the game on a 23-5 run.  Trimboli scored all 11 of her points during the stretch, while Champney added six points, as the hosts made nine of their final 11 shots.

A slow start to the opening half saw a combined 12 points for the first seven-plus minutes, as Roger Williams held a slim 7-5 edge.  Trailing 14-8 with 7:30 to play, Wheaton went on an 8-0 run over 2:58 to take a 16-14 edge, its first lead since 5-3, as four different Lyons scored during the stretch.  Junior Kate Malenczak (Sayville, NY/Sayville) drained a three for the Hawks at 4:01 for a 17-16 edge, and Roger Williams carried a 21-18 lead into the locker room.

The Lyons head to Maryland this weekend for the Mike Durgala Memorial Tournament at Johns Hopkins University, as they face the hosts on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

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