SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - Freshman Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) scored a game-high 18 points in Wheaton College's 61-50 loss at Smith College Saturday afternoon in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action.
Junior Devon Quattrocchi (Brewster, N.Y./Brewster) scored 12 points to lead the Pioneers (14-4, 9-3 NEWMAC), who have won four-straight and five of their last six. Smith scored 26 points off 24 Wheaton turnovers and outrebounded the Lyons 40-30.
Wheaton (8-11, 6-6 NEWMAC) took an early 13-8 lead on a layup by Brickley at the 12:40 mark of the first half. Smith tied the game at 18 on a free throw from freshman Maddie Page (Arvada, Colo./Jefferson Academy) with 8:28 left. A basket by sophomore Rosa Drummond (Rye, N.H./Portsmouth) put Smith up 22-20 with 6:45 to go, and the Pioneers carried a 33-28 lead into halftime.
Trailing 35-28 with 16:57 to go in the second half, the Lyons reeled off an 8-0 run to take a 36-35 lead midway through the half. Sophomore Melissa McLaughlin (Spindale, N.C./R-S Central) knocked down a three-pointer to start the run, and Brickley and sophomore Lauren McClelland (Scituate, Mass./Notre Dame) followed with baskets to tie the game at 35. Senior Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) then rattled in her second free throw attempt to give Wheaton a one-point lead.
Smith answered Wheaton's run with a 12-0 spurt over the next four minutes to take a 48-38 lead. Junior Lizzy BelBruno (Hanover, N.H./Hanover) tied the game at 38 with a basket with 9:53 on the clock, and four-straight points from Page pushed the Pioneers lead to 42-38. Junior Amanda Zakoske (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) scored five of the next eight Smith points to make it 50-40, and a triple by BelBruno - who finished with 11 points - with 3:53 on the clock gave the Pioneers a 13-point advantage.
"We battled but were just not deep enough for 40 minutes against a good Smith team," said Wheaton head coach Melissa Hodgdon.
Wheaton shot 40 percent for the game (20-of-50) but struggled from behind the arc, draining three of its 14 three-point attempts. Smith connected on 36.8 pct. of its shots (21-of-57) and attempted 15 more free throws than the Lyons, making 10 of them.
Senior Nicole Cullinane (Rindge, N.H./New Hampton School) finished with eight points and three assists for the Lyons while McLaughlin added seven points and six rebounds. DePalo capped her afternoon with five points and five boards.
Both schools return to action Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. as Wheaton plays at WPI and Smith hosts Springfield.