NORTON, MA- A 35-5 first-half run for the Wheaton College women's basketball team helped the Lyons turn a 19-9 deficit into a 44-24 halftime advantage against New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Clark University, as the Lyons stretched their winning streak versus the Cougars to six games following Wednesday night's 76-52 victory in Emerson Gymnasium.
Winners of two straight league games, the hosts improve to 3-5 overall and 2-1 in the NEWMAC, while Clark suffered its fourth loss in five games to fall to 2-6 and 1-2. Prior to tonight, six of the past seven meetings between the teams were decided by 12 points or fewer.
Wheaton senior Jenny Champney (Bedford, MA/Bedford) led all scorers with 14 points, leaving her 12 shy of becoming the 11th player in school history to hit 1,000 career points. Freshman Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, CT/Trinity Catholic) contributed 13 points and six assists, while senior Andrea Bailey (Needham, MA/Needham), who moved into second place on Wheaton's career assists list, added 12 points and seven helpers. Sophomore Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, NJ/Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) recorded 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
For Clark, sophomore Ivori Aiken (Harlem, NY/Hyde School) was the lone player in double figures with 12 points. Senior Jillian Camilleri (Lancaster, MA/Nashoba Regional) accounted for nine, and sophomore Kate Minister (Manchester, England/Proctor Academy) finished with eight points and eight boards. Freshman Kelsey Giedymin (Shrewsbury, MA/Shrewsbury) also had eight points while pulling down six caroms.
Wheaton's game-changing spurt stretched over the final 9:28 of the opening stanza, as the Lyons buried 14 of their last 22 shots after a cold start that saw the hosts miss their first 10 shots en route to beginning 3-of-21. Bailey played a hand in 20 points during the run, scoring nine while assisting 11, while Trimboli, Champney and DePalo added eight, seven and six points, respectively. Wheaton drained five threes during the run. Conversely, Clark went 8-of-15 to start the game but made just two of its last 10 during the half. Leading 44-24 at the break, the hosts forced 17 giveaways to hold a commanding 26-2 advantage in points off turnovers.
Aiken's lay-up at 12:52 of the second half brought the visitors to within 18 at 56-38, but five straight points by Champney triggered a 16-0 Wheaton run over 5:31 for a 72-38 cushion with 7:10 remaining. The Lyons twice led by a game-high 34 points before the visitors scored the contest's final eight points after Wheaton led 76-44 at the 3:38 mark.
The Lyons wrap up their first semester on Saturday afternoon at league opponent Springfield College at 1:00 p.m.