Wheaton defeated by Wellesley in 'Play 4Kay' game, 47-42

VIDEO: Highlights from Wheaton/Wellesley / National Girls and Women in Sports Day

NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College women's basketball team played their 'Play 4Kay' contest against Wellesley College Wednesday night at Emerson Gymnasium. The Blue overcame a late deficit to defeat the Lyons 47-42 in a key New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest.

Freshman Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) led Wheaton in points (13), rebounds (nine), and blocks (four), and also tallied three assists and a pair of steals. Senior Nicole Cullinane (Rindge, N.H./New Hampton School) scored nine points while classmate Gabbie DePalo (Rumson, N.J./Rumson-Fair Haven Regional) went for six points, six boards and two steals.

For Wellesley, sophomore Leslie Leong (Sacramento, Calif./John F. Kennedy scored a team-high 11 points – including seven-straight points in the final 2:37 of the contest that turned a 42-38 deficit into a 43-42 lead with 28 seconds remaining. Junior Malia Maier (Torrance, Calif./Palos Verdes Estates) and freshman Meghan Sargent (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Brady) each scored 10 points for the Blue (11-9, 10-5 NEWMAC), which outrebounded the Lyons 43-33 and won despite turning the ball over 19 times.

Wellesley led 22-21 at halftime despite shooting just 33 percent from the field (9-of-27). Freshman Morgyne Weaver (Oklahoma City, Okla./Mt. St. Mary) led all scorers with six points on 3-of-5 shooting. Cullinane led Wheaton (8-14, 6-9 NEWMAC) with five points while Brickley and DePalo each made a pair of baskets. The Lyons shot 35 percent in the opening 20 minutes.

The Blue opened up a seven-point (30-23) lead 4:22 into the second half on a three-pointer by senior Elisha Orama (Miramar, Fla./American Heritage School). Wheaton answered with a 15-4 run to grab a 38-34 lead just past the midway point of the second half, but were held without a field goal over the next six-and-a-half minutes. Receiving only a pair of free throws by Cullinane during that stretch, Wheaton managed to hold the lead by forcing Wellesley to miss eight of its nine shots before Leong's heroics in the final minutes propelled the Blue to victory.

At halftime of the contest, Wheaton College held a ceremony to honor its senior student-athletes in accordance with National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD). Interim Director of Athletics John Sutyak '00 was joined by Paula Krebs, Professor of English/Special Assistant to the President for External Relations, and Lee Burdette Williams, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, for the ceremony.

The Lyons return to action on Saturday when they travel to Clark for a 1 p.m. contest. Wellesley hosts WPI Saturday at 2 p.m.

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