Wheaton cruises to 63-44 win over Coast Guard for first league victory

NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College women's basketball team jumped out to an early 18-2 lead and coasted to a 63-44 victory over Coast Guard in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest Saturday afternoon in Emerson Gymnasium.

The Lyons climbed back to the .500 mark at 3-3 with the win while evening their conference mark at 1-1.  Coast Guard, which lost its third straight outing, fell to 2-5 overall and 0-2 in league play. 

Wheaton sophomore Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./Trinity Catholic) hit five threes to move into 10th place on the school's all-time list with 82 career treys.  Trimboli scored 16 of her game-high 23 points in the first half.  She finished shooting 9-of-12 from the floor and 5-of-6 from beyond the three-point arc to go alongside four assists.

Sophomore Gabby Barbera (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) added nine points, while classmate Natasha Colon Ortiz (Holyoke, Mass./Holyoke) notched team highs of eight boards and three steals.  Junior Nicole Cullinane (Rindge, N.H./New Hampton School) led Wheaton with five assists to go along with four caroms.

Coast Guard freshman Larla Brown (Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood Park) recorded a team-high 16 points.  Classmate Alexa Hunko (Glen Rock, N.J./Glenrock) posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards, while senior Allison Majcher (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield) contributed six markers and seven rebounds.

Wheaton scored 13 unanswered points over a 4:45 span for an early 18-2 advantage.  Barbera started the run with a pair of three-pointers before Trimboli followed with five consecutive markers.  The hosts extended their lead to a game-high 26 points with 1:44 remaining in the opening half.  Wheaton connected on eight of its season-high nine threes in the first stanza to build a 41-17 lead.  Trimboli went 6-of-7 in the opening half, including 4-of-4 from deep.  Barbera added nine first-half points on a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. 

The Lyons stretched their margin back to 26 points at 43-17 less than two minutes into the second half.  Brown and Hunko combined for five straight points as the visitors narrowed the gap to 56-41 with 4:57 left, but Wheaton answered with a 7-2 spurt for a 63-43 lead at 1:59.  The hosts finished with a 41-38 rebounding edge while shooting 42.9 percent from three-point range. 

The Lyons hit the road for the first time in three weeks on Tuesday, when they travel to Worcester to face NEWMAC foe Clark University at 7:00 p.m.

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