Balanced scoring attack lifts Wheaton over Rivier, 79-59

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - Eight different Wheaton College women's basketball players scored at least six points as the Lyons' balanced scoring attack led to a 79-59 victory over Rivier College in the consolation game of Monday's Williams College Winter Classic in Chandler Gymnasium.

Defeating the Raiders for the second time this season, Wheaton snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 4-6.  Rivier dropped its 10th straight contest to fall to 1-10.

Named to the all-tournament team, sophomore Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./Trinity Catholic) finished with 12 points after pouring in a career-high 30 yesterday.  Classmate Natasha Colon Ortiz (Holyoke, Mass./Holyoke) notched a double-double with a team-high 13 markers and 10 rebounds in just 17 minutes, as she reached double-figure boards for the second straight game.

Junior Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) pulled down a game-best 12 rebounds, as the Lyons held a commanding 60-41 advantage on the glass, to go alongside eight points.  Junior Nicole Cullinane (Rindge, N.H./New Hampton School) tallied eight points and six assists, while freshman Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) had a game-high seven helpers.

Sophomore Gabby Barbera (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) matched a career best with seven rebounds to go with six points, freshman Sarah Fitzgerald (Bath, Maine/Morse) also recorded six points and seven boards, while sophomore Jana Jagodzinski (Old Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) and freshman Lauren McClelland (Scituate, Mass./Notre Dame) each had six markers. 

For Rivier, freshman Britney Lane (Waterford, Vt./Saint Johnsbury Academy) went for a game-high 18 points, while junior Amandra Purcell (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) had 12 points, five assists and three steals.  Freshman Erin Sweeney (Chicopee, Mass./Chicopee Comprehensive) added 10 points.

Off to a slow start, Wheaton trailed 7-4 in the early going before scoring nine unanswered points for a 13-7 advantage at 12:45.  After the Raiders made the score 13-11, the Blue and White responded with six consecutive points for a 19-11 advantage with 9:50 to play before the intermission.  Pierce connected on a three 34 seconds later to give the Lyons a 22-13 lead.  Wheaton extended its cushion to 30-19 at the 3:04 mark but didn't score the rest of the half, as Rivier used a 6-0 spurt to climb within five entering the locker room.

In the second half, the Lyons turned a 43-35 edge at 15:07 into a commanding 54-36 advantage with 13:20 remaining.  The Raiders narrowed their gap to 13 on two occasions, with the latter coming at 65-52 with 6:34 to go, but an 8-0 Wheaton stretch over 1:22 sealed the victory.  Cullinane and Trimboli drained back-to-back threes 33 seconds apart to spark the run.

The Lyons will play their third road game in four days when they travel to South Hadley on Wednesday for a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest at Mount Holyoke College at 7:00 p.m.

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