Wheaton completes season sweep over Mount Holyoke, 59-53

NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College women's basketball team completed its season sweep over New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Mount Holyoke College with a 59-53 victory on Saturday afternoon in Emerson Gymnasium.

The Lyons put a halt to their two-game losing skid in improving to 7-9 overall and 4-5 in the league, while the visitors fall to 3-12 and 2-8.

Wheaton sophomore Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./Trinity Catholic) led all scorers with 20 points, making all seven of her free throws, while junior Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) notched her second straight double-double with 16 points and game highs of 13 rebounds and four steals.  DePalo pulled down nine boards on the offensive glass, as the hosts had 26 offensive rebounds, holding a commanding 51-30 advantage overall.

Freshman Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) recorded 10 points and five rebounds, while sophomore Gabby Barbera (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) had seven markers and a career-high eight boards.  Sophomore Natasha Colon Ortiz (Holyoke, Mass./Holyoke) finished with seven rebounds.

Junior Christine Chancy (Bay Harbor Islands, Fla./Miami Country Day School) registered a team-best 14 points and a game-high four assists for Mount Holyoke.  Sophomore Angelica Pascual (Lawrence, Mass./Proctor Academy) approached a double-double with 13 markers and nine boards, while junior Tricia Chase (Feeding Hills, Mass./Cathedral) added 12 points, five rebounds and three steals.

The Lyons missed their first nine shots of the opening half while trailing 7-0.  A Trimboli conventional three-point play at 16:26 made it 7-3.  Wheaton then missed its next seven shots and found itself down 15-7 with less than nine minutes to play before the break.  However, the Lyons quickly turned things around, going on a 12-0 run over 2:34 for a 19-15 lead at 6:03.  The hosts made five of their six shots in that stretch.  The visitors came within 23-21 on a Pascual three at 3:08 before five straight Wheaton points made the score 28-21 at 1:40.  The hosts led 28-25 at the break.

Four lead changes early in the second half took place, as the Blue and White reeled off six straight points for a 39-34 edge with 12:22 remaining.  The Lyons eventually led 44-36 midway through the frame, but Mount Holyoke used an 11-2 spurt to capture a 47-46 lead at 6:52.  With the score deadlocked at 49 in the waning minutes, Pierce's conventional three-point play with 3:11 to go gave Wheaton the lead for good.  The visitors narrowed its deficit to one at 52-51 at 2:49 before consecutive Trimboli buckets iced the game.

Wheaton closes its three-game homestand with Monday night's rescheduled conference game against Smith College at 7:00 p.m.

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