Springfield rallies back Wheaton, 63-58

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Senior Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) and freshman Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) combined for 27 points and 16 rebounds in Wheaton College's 63-58 loss to Springfield College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action Thursday evening at Blake Arena.

Brickley led the Lyons (3-8, 1-4 NEWMAC) with 15 points to go along with seven boards while DePalo went for 12 points, five rebounds and five assists. Springfield (7-5, 3-2 NEWMAC) was led by senior Kelly Murphy's (Mechanicville, N.Y./Mechanicville) season-high 23 points.

The Lyons trailed by five at the break (29-24) as Murphy went off for 13 first-half points. With the game tied at eight following a three-point play by Brickley, the Pride went on a 17-7 run to grab a 25-15 advantage with 5:46 on the clock. A pair of buckets by DePalo and a triple by freshman Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) helped cut the deficit to single-digits at the break.

Wheaton soon found itself behind by nine again (35-26) with 16:50 to go in the second half but responded with a 32-10 run to grab a 58-45 lead with 6:35 remaining. Brickley scored eight points during the run while senior Nicole Cullinane (Rindge, N.H./New Hampton School) and junior Gabby Barbera (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) each knocked down a pair of three-pointers.

Springfield countered by scoring the final 18 points of the contest to pick up the victory. Freshman Jaimie Bickelhaupt (Brookfield, Conn./Brookfield) sparked the run with eight points down the stretch while Murphy tallied five.  

The Lyons shot a season-high 43.4 percent (23-of-53) for the contest but were hurt by 24 turnovers. Springfield, meanwhile, knocked down just 32.8 percent of its field goals (20-of-61) but held a 45-35 edge on the glass and went to the line 30 times, compared to just eight for the Lyons.

Kuhn finished with 10 points and five helpers for Wheaton. Springfield junior Meghan Biondolillo (Levittown, N.Y./Island Trees) notched with 10 points – including the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:31 to go that gave the Pride the lead for good at 59-58.

Wheaton returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Mount Holyoke at 2 p.m. Springfield hosts nationally-ranked Babson Saturday at 1 p.m.

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