NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College women's basketball team turned a 38-20 second-half deficit into a 41-all tie but in the end fell short to New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Clark University by a 60-53 count Thursday in Emerson Gymnasium.
Wheaton, which entered tonight's game in a four-way tie for fourth place with Clark in the league standings, fell to 9-11 and 6-7, while the Cougars, who have won six of their last nine contests, moved to 8-12 and 7-6.
Lyon junior Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./ Rumson-Fair Haven Regional), who had 10 points and seven rebounds in the opening half, finished with a double-double of 18 points and 11 boards. Sophomore Gabby Barbera (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) and freshman Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) had nine points each, with Pierce adding a season-high-tying seven rebounds and four assists.
Sophomore Natasha Colon Ortiz (Holyoke, Mass./Holyoke) contributed seven points and six rebounds, while classmate Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./Trinity Catholic) had seven markers, five assists and four steals.
Two Clark players combined to score 43 of their team's 60 points, with first-year Ashleigh Condon (Hull, Mass./Hull) pouring in a game-best 22 while grabbing five rebounds. Classmate Emily Reilly (Marlboro, Mass./Marlboro) finished with 21 points and five boards, and freshman Esther Cohn (Carrboro, N.C./Carolina Friends School) notched a game-best nine rebounds.
The Lyons struggled offensively in the opening half, converting on just 25 percent of their shots, while Clark shot 42.9 percent, including draining half of its eight threes. Conversely, Wheaton made just one of its 14 three-point attempts. Neither team led by more than five points until the visitors went on a 9-1 run for a 24-16 edge at 5:50. The Lyons scored the next four points before the Cougars tallied the half's final six for a 30-20 advantage.
After Clark ripped off the second half's first eight points, Wheaton began to chip away at its huge deficit, going on a 21-3 run from the 18:08 mark to 8:35 to knot the score at 41. However, the Lyons were unable to retake the lead, as the Cougars hit back-to-back buckets for a 45-41 edge at 6:43. Barbera's third three made the score 53-52 in Clark's favor with 51 ticks to go, but Reilly answered with a trey as Wheaton never got closer than four the rest of the way.
The Lyons travel to Springfield College for a Saturday afternoon league game at 3:00 p.m.