Lyons quest for postseason bid comes down to final day, fall to WPI, 67-58

NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College women's basketball team's quest to land one of six berths into the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament fell just short, as the Lyons lost to second-place Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) by a count of 67-58 on Saturday afternoon in Emerson Gymnasium.

Finishing its season with a 10-15 overall record and a 7-11 league mark, Wheaton needed to defeat WPI and have the United States Coast Guard Academy beat Clark University, neither of which happened.  Securing the tourney's second seed, WPI improved to 18-6 and 14-4.

Sophomore Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./Trinity Catholic) moved into fourth place on the school's all-time three-point list after knocking down three treys en route to scoring a game-best 18 pints with five assists.  Junior Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) recorded 16 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore Gabby Barbera (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) added eight markers.

Engineer sophomore Theresa Logan (Southboro, Mass./Algonquin Regional) finished with 16 points, while junior Lauren Hannmann (East Greenbush, N.Y./Columbia) tallied 12 markers and seven rebounds.  Senior Melissa Kuhn (Stoughton, Mass./Stoughton) posted 11 points and five assists, and classmate Elle Fontaine (Franklin, Mass./Bishop Feehan) accounted for nine markers and eight boards.

With the teams knotted at five 2:29 in, WPI went on a 10-0 run over 2:41 for a 15-5 advantage before the Lyons scored seven straight to get within three at 15-12 at 11:57.  The Engineers responded with seven consecutive points of their own while stretching their lead back to 10.  Down 22-12 at 9:08, the hosts used a 10-3 spurt to trail 25-22 with 6:23 showing.  Trimboli's third triple of the half with 15 ticks on the clock forged a 28-all tie at the break.

To start the second half, a pair of Wheaton threes sandwiched around two WPI freebies gave the Lyons a 34-30 edge with 18:52 remaining.  However, the visitors ripped off 19 of the game's next 23 points for a 49-38 cushion at 11:17.  The margin remained between eight and 11 points the rest of the way, with Wheaton's final eight-point deficit coming with 4:44 to play.

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