Lyons improve to 5-0 in conference play
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Wheaton College women's basketball team pushed its winning streak to seven-straight games with a convincing 72-54 victory over Clark University on Saturday afternoon in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action.
Sophomore forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) posted her third double-double of the season on ten points and 12 rebounds to highlight three other student-athletes who reached double figures for the Lyons. Junior forward Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) totaled 14 points, four rebounds and two assists, while classmate Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) was the catalyst for Wheaton, finishing with 15 points – 12 of which came on four first half three-pointers. Pierce also added six rebounds and six assists in 31 minutes on the court. Sophomore guard Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, Mass./Campbell) compiled 13 points, six assists and four rebounds.
The Lyons ran their offense to near perfection, handing out 25 assists on 27 baskets, while shooting 42.9-percent from the field (27-for-63) including a 50-percent clip from behind the arc (9-for-18). The Blue and White also held a slight 45-43 edge on the glass and outscored the Cougars 34-20 in the paint.
Esther Cohn (Chapel Hill, N.C./Caroline Friends School) was the only player for the Cougars in double figures as she scored 11 points and brought down ten rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Both Emily Reilly (Marlborough, Mass./Marlborough) and Brooke Brennan (Weston, Mass./The Rivers School) chipped in with eight points, while senior guard Breeann Redman (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern) added a career-best seven.
Wheaton took control of the contest from the start scoring nine straight points to open the game as Arnone, Pierce and junior guard Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) all connected on three-pointers in the game's first four minutes.
Clark finally got on the scoreboard on a hoop by Reilly and after an Olivia Lyons (Belmont, Mass./Belmont) rebound and putback, the Cougars were only down 19-12 with a little more than ten minutes gone by.
The two teams then started trading three-pointers as Pierce dropped in two more from behind the arc but those were both matched by Brennan to make the score 27-18. Wheaton answered again with two consecutive baskets from Shoemaker to bump the Lyons advantage to 31-18.
Wheaton ended the half on a 16-5 run as Brickley, Ferrari and senior Lauren McClelland (Scituate, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) all added buckets during the offensive outburst along with a triple from Ferrari to take a 43-23 edge into the break over Clark.
Clark dwindled the lead down to 16 at 46-29 following a basket by Reilly and two hoops from Megan Grondin (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) but a 14-5 scoring spurt from Wheaton put the game out of reach. During the run, the Lyons saw Arnone make a three-pointer, Ferrari score inside, Pierce get fouled on a three-point attempt and make all three from the charity stripe and Brickley get loose inside for a pair of easy hoops.
The lead ballooned to its peak at 27 when senior forward Sarah Fitzgerald (Bath, Maine/Morse) found a cutting Emily Romans (Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) in the paint to push the gap to 65-38 with 10:35 remaining.
Cohn then attempted to rally the Cougars, scoring nine straight points, including a three-pointer to bring Clark to within 20 at 65-47. The Scarlet and White got as close as 16 on an offensive rebound and putback by freshman guard Aretha Sullivan (Worcester, Mass./University Park) but by then the contest was well in hand for the Lyons.
Wheaton (7-0, 5-0 NEWMAC) is off until Wednesday, December 17 when it visits Manhattanville College, while Clark (3-5, 1-4 NEWMAC) won't play again Monday, December 30 against Regis College as a part of a holiday tournament hosted by Catholic University.