January 26, 2011

Wheaton stumbles at fifth-ranked Babson in NEWMAC action

BABSON PARK, Mass. - The Wheaton College women's basketball team committed a season-high 32 turnovers while shooting just 28.8 percent during a 74-43 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) loss to nationally-ranked Babson College on Wednesday night at Staake Gymnasium.

Wheaton had its two-game winning streak stopped in falling to 8-10 overall and 5-6 in league play, while the Beavers, who came into tonight's action ranked fifth in the country by D3hoops.com, remained perfect at 17-0 and 11-0.

Sophomore Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./Trinity Catholic) was the lone Lyon in double figures with 13 points, shooting 2-of-4 beyond the three-point arc and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe.  Freshman Melissa McLaughlin (Spindale, N.C./R-S Central) contributed eight points and five rebounds, while sophomore Gabby Barbera (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) and first-year Sarah Fitzgerald (Bath, Maine/Morse) had seven points each.

Junior Nicole Wurdeman (Rowley, Mass./Triton Regional) paced Babson with 22 points and seven boards, while sophomore Sarah Collins (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) accounted for 16 markers, nine rebounds and four steals.  Senior Becky Bowman (Melrose, Mass./Arlington Catholic) and junior Kathleen King (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) added 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Babson scored the game's first 10 points and led 16-3 at the 14:25 mark of the opening half, as a Trimboli three proved to be Wheaton's lone bucket in that stretch.  The Lyons trimmed their deficit to 18-10 thanks to a Barbera triple at 12:13, and the visitors trailed 25-17 with 5:37 left.  After the Beavers scored the game's next four points, the Blue and White responded with five straight to get as close as 29-22 at 1:15.  The hosts answered with the frame's final six points for a 35-22 halftime advantage.

Babson extended its lead to 41-25 with 16:16 remaining before the Lyons made the score 41-29 at 15:31.  The Beavers took over from there, going on a 17-2 run over 5:48 for a commanding 58-31 cushion with less than nine minutes to play.  After a Wheaton basket at 8:33, Babson outscored the Lyons by a 15-8 count for the game's largest advantage.

The Lyons travel to New London, Connecticut, on Saturday to face conference foe United States Coast Guard Academy at 1:00 p.m.

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