Pierce slides to ninth all-time in career assists, Arnone sets school record for 3's in a game
WELLESLEY, Mass. – Despite a single-game record eight 3-pointers and a career-high 24 points from sophomore guard Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell), 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, was edged by Wellesley College, 62-59, on Wednesday night in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action.
Arnone led all scorers with her eight 3-pointers surpassing Jeana Trimboli '13 and Cathy Silva '94 for the program record in a single game. Silva set the record with seven 3-pointers on February 5, 1994, while Trimboli tied the mark on January 2, 2011. Both student-athletes are represented seven times, combined, on the single-game three-point field goals made list.
Junior guard Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy), who tallied eight points and brought down three rebounds, moved into ninth place all-time on the career assists list with four helpers on the night. Pierce needed just one assist to slide past current assistant coach and 2008 graduate Becky Aitchison's mark of 226 assists entering tonight's contest.
Classmate Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) added 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field and eight rebounds. Sophomore forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) chipped in with four points, eight rebounds and a game-high four blocks.
Wellesley had four student-athletes in double figures, paced by junior guard Natalie Anderson (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue) who finished with 15 points and five boards. Classmate Morgyne Weaver (Oklahoma City, Okla./Mt. St Mary) and senior guard Leslie Leong (Sacramento, Calif./John F. Kennedy) added 14 each and Katie Shulenberger (Ashland, Ore./Campolindo) contributed ten points. Leong also rounded out her stat line with a game-high seven rebounds, while adding four steals and three assists on the night.
Leading 59-58 after Pierce buried a three-pointer on an assist from Shoemaker, the Blue outscored Wheaton 4-0 over the remaining 1:20 of the contest to push their winning streak to nine-straight. Weaver nailed a jumper with 6.7-seconds to play in the game and later converted a pair of free throws with four ticks on the clock for the victory.
Wheaton fought back from a 29-24 deficit at the conclusion of the first half outscoring Wellesley 28-22 in the second stanza over a 14:13 stretch. Arnone's long range game was the difference for the Lyons during the run as the sophomore guard canned four consecutive attempts to start the half and six total going for 18 points (6-for-7). Brickley compiled six points, while Pierce and Shoemaker had one bucket apiece. The Lyons held the lead two more times in the waning minutes of the game, both one-point advantages, before the Blue escaped with the win.
Wheaton held a slim 20-18 margin in points in the paint and a 38-36 differential on the boards. Wellesley outscored the guests 18-7 off turnovers and 12-9 in second chance points. The lead changed hands six times during the contest, including four times in the second half alone. The game also featured six ties.
Wheaton (12-3, 7-3 NEWMAC) hosts Springfield College on Sunday with tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m. inside Emerson Gymnasium. Wellesley (11-2, 8-1 NEWMAC) travels to Mount Holyoke on Saturday at 1 p.m.