WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior guard Melissa McLaughlin (Spindale, N.C./R-S Central) scored a career-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field to lead the Wheaton College women's basketball team to a 53-39 victory over Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Tuesday night at Harrington Auditorium.
The Lyons claimed their first triumph on the road over the Engineers since their NEWMAC Semifinals upset victory on February 28, 2009 by a score of 62-58 outrebounding the hosts 48-22 (19 offensive) tonight in the contest.
McLaughlin led all scorers making four-of-six of her 3-point field goal attempts, hauling in three rebounds, dishing out two assists and swiping one steal. Sophomore Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) tallied ten points on 3-of-8 shooting from the field, 4-of-4 from the free throw line, seven rebounds, one assist and one block.
Freshman forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) guided all post players with a game-high 12 rebounds (four offensive), three points, three assists, two blocks and one steal. Sophomore guard Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) filled out the stat sheet with seven points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.
WPI sophomore guard/forward Dani Davis (East Granby, Conn./East Granby) collected ten points, four steals, three rebounds, one assist and one block. Classmate Rachel Pineda (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) had nine points on 4-of-9 shooting and two steals while junior guard Kelly Morgan (Brookline, N.H./Hollis-Brookline) notched eight points and five caroms.
Wheaton shot 31.9-percent from the field, 33.3-percent from long distance and 68.8-percent at the free throw line. WPI posted a 31.9 field goal percentage, went 37.5-percent from three-point range and 75.0-percent at the line. The Engineers edged out the Lyons in points in the paint, 18-16, and held an 18-8 margin in points off of turnovers.
Ahead 24-23 after a back-and-forth first half, Wheaton orchestrated a 20-11 run to jumpstart the second stanza and never looked back. The Lyons used six different scorers during that stretch as McLaughlin highlighted the group with five points. McLaughlin's fourth and final 3-point basket at the 6:22 mark capped the run at 44-34. Wheaton earned its biggest lead of the night with 51-seconds remaining on a McLaughlin free throw shot.
The Lyons missed their first 13 shots to begin the game, a 6:44 scoreless stretch, before rattling off a 16-4 run to take a 16-10 advantage with 6:41 remaining in the opening half. WPI evened the score at 16-16 at 3:06 on a Pineda jumpshot but McLaughlin answered on the other end of the floor with a three-pointer at 2:08 to reclaim the lead. The Lyons outscored the Engineers 8-6 to close out the half.
Wheaton (4-3, 2-1 NEWMAC) hosts Babson College on Friday, December 7 in Emerson Gymnasium at 7 p.m. WPI (3-3, 1-2 NEWMAC) travels to Springfield College on Friday for a NEWMAC clash beginning at 7 p.m.