BRISTOL, R.I. - The Wheaton College women's basketball team opened its season with a 68-46 non-conference loss to host Roger Williams University on Tuesday in the RWU Recreation Center. The Hawks won for the second time in as many nights.
Playing all 16 of their players, which includes eight freshmen and two transfers, the Lyons were led by sophomore Gabby Barbera's (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) nine points. Junior Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) turned in seven points and seven rebounds, sophomore Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./Trinity Catholic) added seven points, while freshman Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) had five assists.
The Hawks were paced by sophomore Alexandria Lanieri (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Port Jefferson), who turned in a game-high 27 points. Junior Ryan Weekes (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name) approached a triple-double with eight points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, as the hosts defeated the Lyons for the first time in five tries.
Wheaton kept things close early, opening with 3-0 and 5-2 edges. Three lead changes and a trio of ties ensued during a 10:25 stretch, with Barbera's second triple knotting the contest at 15 with 7:15 to play before the intermission. It was all Roger Williams after that, as the Hawks hit their next four shots while erupting for 18 unanswered points for a 33-15 advantage in the waning seconds. The Lyons drained a three just before the halftime buzzer to get within 15.
The Hawks opened the second stanza on an 8-0 run in securing the game's largest advantage up to that point at 41-18 with 18:24 remaining. Wheaton narrowed its deficit to 18 points on two occasions but would get no closer, as Roger Williams pushed its lead to 55-29 approaching the midway point of the half.
The Lyons committed 26 turnovers for the game while shooting just 32.7 percent from the field. The Hawks, who held a 35-13 edge in points off turnovers, pulled down 40 of the game's 70 rebounds while connecting on 44.4 percent of their baskets. Roger Williams also controlled play in the frontcourt with a 38-20 advantage in points in the paint.
Wheaton begins the home portion of its schedule this weekend in hosting a four-team tip-off tournament. The Lyons open against River College on Friday at 6:00 p.m. Fitchburg State University and Plymouth State University follow at 8:00 p.m.