Brickley ties school record for rebounds in a game with 21
NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College women's basketball team, ranked No. 22 in the USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division III Top-25 poll, dropped its first game of the 2013-14 season to MIT by a score of 60-59 on Thursday night at Emerson Gymnasium in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup.
With the win, MIT (6-6, 3-4 NEWMAC) ended Wheaton's second longest winning streak in program history at 12 games which spanned from 11/16/13–1/7/14. The Engineers also snapped their own three game losing skid in their first-ever triumph over a nationally ranked opponent in MIT women's basketball program history. Coming into this week's action, the Lyons (12-1, 7-1 NEWMAC) were only one of 18 teams who remained unbeaten in all of NCAA Division III women's basketball.
Trailing 60-59 with 5.3-seconds to play, Wheaton junior guard Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) curled around a screen near the top of the three-point arc looking for a foul or a successful layup attempt, but MIT senior forward Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect) slipped into the paint and blocked Pierce's shot eventually sending the Engineers' bench onto the court to celebrate the victory after time expired.
MIT held off several late rallies by the Lyons down the stretch as the hosts came within a one-point deficit on three separate occasions after the Engineers took the lead for good with 5:26 remaining in the contest. Wheaton held its last advantage at the 6:29 mark (50-48) after junior forward Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) put home a fastbreak layup on a feed by Pierce. The Engineers outscored Wheaton 12-9 in the final possessions of the game as junior guard Mari Kordell (Ijamsville, Md./Urbana) led the charge with five points including a pair of clutch free throws with 40-seconds left to go. Tonight's game featured seven lead changes and ten ties before all was said and done.
Brickley poured in 19 points and hauled in a career-high 21 rebounds (eight offensive) for her third double-double of the season to guide the Lyons. Brickley's 21 rebounds ties Wheaton College Hall of Famer Ann Zarchen Knoblock's '81 program record which was set 33 years ago (2/10/81) against Wellesley College. Brickley also will enter the Lyons next contest against Babson College on Saturday at 1 p.m. with 799 career points after tonight's 19-point effort.
Sophomore forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayettville-Manlius) collected ten points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two assists, while classmate Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) rounded out the list of double digit scorers for Wheaton with 13 points. Pierce tallied six points and handed out a game-high nine assists.
Kordell guided the Engineers offensively with a team-high 17 points, four rebounds and four assists. Sophomore guard Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head Island, S.C./Hilton Head Island) registered her fifth double-double of the season with ten points and 12 rebounds and classmate Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif./Mission San Jose) provided a spark off the bench with six points, six rebounds – five alone in the second half – and a pair of assists, blocks and steals in 26 minutes of action.
Wheaton held a 32-28 advantage at the break shooting 38.7-percent (12-for-31) in the opening stanza, while limiting MIT to 22.2-percent (8-for-36) shooting from the floor. The Lyons, who have not trailed at halftime so far this season, posted a 49-40 margin on the glass and a 12-11 differential in second chance points. MIT took advantage of 17 turnovers outscoring the hosts 18-5 on miscues. Both teams tied in points in the paint at 28-28.
Wheaton (12-1, 7-1 NEWMAC) hosts Babson on Saturday at 1 p.m. inside Emerson Gymnasium. MIT (6-6, 3-4 NEWMAC) travels to Clark University on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tip-off.