NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College men's basketball team improved to 4-1 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference action for the first time since the 2004-2005 season after defeating the Emerson College Lions, 70-61, Wednesday night in Emerson Gymnasium.
The Lyons are now 9-7 on the season, while the visitors fall to 4-12 overall and 0-5 in NEWMAC action.
Junior Ryan Fogarty knocked down a season best 23 points for Wheaton, finishing 6-of-11 from the floor, which included hitting 5-of-7 from three-point range, while hitting 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Senior Quinton Dale finished with yet another double-double, this time scoring 13 points and pulling down 11 rebounds in the win. Dale and Nick Geremia led the team with three steals, while David Carbonello, Duaka Ekwensi and Alex DuBrow each took the ball away twice. Liam Bruno also finished the game in double-figures, scoring 10 points off the bench.
Geoffrey Gray led all players with 25 points for Emerson. The sophomore made 10-of-16 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Corey Fitz came off the bench to score 13 for the Lions. Mac Sashin and Alex Mrusek led Emerson with five boards.
Emerson got things going in the first half with a layup by Jared Jackson at the 18:28 mark. Fogarty quickly countered with a jumper, sparking an 11-0 run by the Lyons. Wheaton would never trail again. Baskets by Gray, Sashin, Alex Miles and Jackson brought the Lions back within a point with 9:03 left in the opening frame. Once again led by Fogarty, who hit a three-pointer, Wheaton once again began to pull away. This time Emerson would only be able to cut the deficit to four, before Wheaton closed out the half with a 26-18 advantage.
Sashin opened the second half with a turn around jumper, just to have it matched by a jumper from Ekwensi. The Lyons continued to run the half, earning their largest lead at the 6:24 mark on a Dale layup that made it a 57-41 contest. The Lions tried to chip away at the Wheaton lead down the stretch but would only get at close as eight points.
Wheaton returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 21 for a 2 p.m. tip at WPI.