Wellesley Stifles Wheaton, 39-35

Wellesley Stifles Wheaton, 39-35

Brickley records fifth-straight game with ten-plus points in the loss

NORTON, Mass. – Wellesley College withstood a late rally from Wheaton College to claim a 39-35 triumph over the Lyons on Thursday night in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup at Emerson Gymnasium.

Sophomore forward Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) notched a team-high ten points and grabbed nine rebounds for Wheaton. Freshman forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) tallied four points, hauled in 12 caroms, swatted five shots and picked up five steals. Junior Lauren McClelland (Scituate, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) contributed eight points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Sophomore guard Courtney Jackson (Baldwin, N.Y./Baldwin Senior) paced the opposition with ten points, six steals, two assists and one board. Classmate Morgyne Weaver (Oklahoma City, Okla./Mt. St. Mary) had eight points, seven rebounds, two blocks and one steal while senior guard Malia Maier (Torrance, Calif./Palos Verdes Estates) scored eight points, brought down eight rebounds, swiped six steals, dished out two assists and registered a pair of blocks.

The Blue held a 20-9 advantage at halftime as their defense forced the Lyons into 12 first half turnovers (11 off of steals) and a 2-for-21 (9.5-percent) showing from the field.  Wellesley opened up its biggest lead of the night, 28-13, at the 11:04 mark of the second half on a Weaver layup through traffic.

Wheaton trimmed away at the deficit coming within seven points (30-23) at 3:41 utilizing a 10-2 run. McClelland led the offensive charge with two contested layups while Brickley added an old-fashioned three-point play to jumpstart the offense at 10:02.

After the Blue pushed its gap back to double-digits (36-26) with 53-seconds remaining in the game, the Lyons dialed up three-straight 3-pointers to make it a one-possession contest with three seconds left to play.

Sophomore guard Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) connected from long range at the 40-second mark, classmate Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) swished a three-ball with 14-seconds left to spare and Kuhn delivered once again over a defender's hand with three seconds to go from the right wing. Maier made 1-of-2 free throws for Wellesley at the 23-second mark and Jackson sealed the victory with a second to play making both of her free throw attempts to close out the contest and the scoring at 39-35.

Wheaton shot 22.0-percent (11-for-50) from the floor, 33.3-percent from beyond the arc (4-for-12) and 69.2-percent (9-for-13) at the line. Wellesley connected on 25.0-percent (13-for-52) of its field goals, 20.0-percent (2-for-10) from long range and 52.4-percent (11-for-21) at the line. Both teams tied in the rebounding category, 41-41, and second chance points, 4-4. The Blue posted a 15-2 differential in points off of turnovers and a slim, 16-14, margin in points in the paint.

Wheaton (6-7, 3-4 NEWMAC) visits Clark University for a NEWMAC contest on Saturday, January 12 at 1 p.m. Wellesley (5-6, 4-3 NEWMAC) hosts WPI in conference play on Saturday at 2 p.m.