NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College women's basketball team was defeated by No. 17 Babson College 79-54 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action Saturday afternoon at Emerson Gymnasium.
Senior Nicole Cullinane (Rindge, N.H./New Hampton School) poured in a team-high 14 points for the Lyons (8-13, 6-8 NEWMAC) – including four 3-point field goals – and also dished out five assists. Junior Gabby Barbera (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) came off the bench to score 11 points in the second half while freshman Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) tallied eight points and six rebounds and senior Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) snared nine rebounds.
Junior Sarah Collins (Weymouth, Mass./Weymouth) was one of three Babson student-athletes to record a double-double, finishing with game-highs in both points (21) and rebounds (14). Senior Nicki Wundeman (Rowley, Mass./Triton Regional) added 15 points and 10 rebounds while classmate Kathleen King (Framingham, Mass./Framingham) notched 13 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals.
After grabbing an early 4-2 lead behind baskets by DePalo and Brickley, the Beavers (18-2, 14-0 NEWMAC) went on a 24-0 run to take a 26-4 lead with nine minutes remaining in the half. Collins sparked the run with eight points while King netted six points and both Wurdeman and junior Allanah Wynn (Quincy, Mass./Milton Academy) added five points.
The Beavers did not commit a turnover during the first 15 minutes of action and turned 11 Wheaton first-half turnovers into 15 points to take a 48-15 lead into halftime. Babson knocked down 47 percent of its shots and held the Lyons to 24 pct. shooting from the field.
Wheaton outscored the Beavers 39-31 in the second half but could not get the lead below 30 until late in the half. Babson went ahead by 43 points on a three-pointer by freshman Erin Young (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) before the Lyons outscored the Beavers 29-11 over the final 11 minutes of the contest. Barbera and Cullinane each scored 11 points during that span. The Lyons committed just six second-half turnovers and forced Babson to turn the ball over 12 times in the second stanza which led to 18 points.
Babson finished the afternoon shooting 46 percent (25-of-54) and knocked down seven of its 10 three-point attempts. The Lyons made 32 percent of their field goal attempts (20-of-62) – including 9-of-22 from behind the arc. The Beavers outrebounded the home team 48-30 and made 22-of-30 from the charity stripe, compared to five-of-six for Wheaton.
The Lyons return to action on Wednesday when they host Wellesley in their 'Play 4Kay' game at 5:30 p.m. Babson travels to MIT for an 8 p.m. contest on Wednesday.