NORTON, Mass. – Freshman Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) led four student-athletes in double-figures in scoring with 16 points to help the Wheaton College women's basketball team to a 76-62 win over Lasell College at the Wheaton Tip-Off Tournament Saturday afternoon in non-conference action at Emerson Gymnasium.
Senior Nicole Cullinane (Rindge, N.H./New Hampton School) added 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Lyons, who evened their record at 1-1 and advanced to the championship game of the tournament. Wheaton will face Haverford College, which defeated Drew University 60-54 in the other semifinal contest.
The Lyons led for all but 2:14 of the first half and closed it on a 12-0 run to take a 42-30 lead into halftime. With the game tied at 30 with 4:57 to go, Brickley scored six of the Lyons 12 points and pushed Wheaton's first-half shooting percentage to 46.4 percent (13-of-28). The Lyons also knocked down 15 of their 18 free throw attempts (83.3 percent) and picked up 10 assists, led by four from junior Jeana Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./Trinity Catholic). Senior Jo Bishop (South Burlington, Vt./South Burlington) led the Lasers (0-2) with 10 points.
Wheaton held a double-digit lead through most of the second half. Lasell cut the deficit to six following a three by junior Ashley Fry (South Kingston, R.I./South Kingston) with 7:27 remaining, but senior Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) answered with a layup to push the Lyons lead back to eight. Bishop followed with a jumper to make it a six-point lead again, but the second of two three-pointers by sophomore Melissa McLaughlin (Spindale, N.C./R-S Central) upped the lead to nine (60-51) with 5:33 to play. The Lyons knocked down nine of their 12 free throws down the stretch to ice the game – including eight from Cullinane.
"I thought we made a lot of progress since our game against Roger Williams on Tuesday," said Wheaton head coach Melissa Hodgdon. "One of our themes is energy, effort and enthusiasm, and I thought the team really brought that today, which made a huge difference. We assisted on 17 of our 23 field goals and finished with more assists than turnovers. That's Wheaton basketball."
After committing 22 turnovers in their season-opening loss to Roger Williams, the Lyons committed just 14 against Lasell. DePalo finished with 12 points, five boards, three assists and two steals while Trimboli tallied 11 points, five helpers and two steals.
Bishop finished with a game-high 19 points for Lasell, which also received a double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds) from Danielle Autencio (Montville, Conn./Montville) and eight points and 10 boards from junior Kim Archibald (Lewiston, Maine/Lewiston).