Strong second-half helps Smith defeat Wheaton, 56-40

Strong second-half helps Smith defeat Wheaton, 56-40

NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College women's basketball team suffered a 56-40 loss to Smith College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action Saturday afternoon at Emerson Gymnasium.

Sophomore Melissa McLaughlin (Spindale, N.C./R-S Central) paced the Lyons (2-4, 1-1 NEWMAC) with seven points and two assists. Senior Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) tallied six points and six rebounds while sophomore Lauren McClelland (Scituate, Mass./Notre Dame) added six points and three rebounds.

Sophomore Rosa Drummond (Rye, N.H./Portsmouth) led four Pioneers in double-figures with 16 points and seven boards. Junior Lizzy BelBruno (Hanover, N.H./Hanover), along with freshmen Paulina Solis (Santa Ana, Calif./Foothill) and Maddie Page (Arvada, Colo./Jefferson Academy), each chipped in with 10 points.

Smith struggled from the field in the first half, connecting on just nine of their 31 attempts (29.0 pct.), but knocked down 52.4 percent of their shots (11-of-21) in the second half. As a result, the Pioneers outscored the Lyons 33-17 over the final 20 minutes to improve to 6-0 on the season (2-0 NEWMAC). The Pioneers opened the second half on a 23-4 run and led by as many as 24 points.

Wheaton held a 36-35 edge on the glass and forced 18 turnovers. Smith, however, forced the Lyons into 21 turnovers while scoring 30 of their 56 points in the paint. "We played a good first half, and for us to outrebound a team like Smith is huge for us moving forward," said Lyons head coach Melissa Hodgdon.

The Lyons return to action on Tuesday when they host WPI at 7 p.m. The Pioneers host Springfield Tuesday at 7 p.m.