Arnone leads team in scoring for third-straight game
SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Wheaton College women's basketball team overcame a nine point deficit (36-27) midway through the second half to claim a 56-55 victory Mount Holyoke College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup on Wednesday night at Howard Gymnasium.
For the third-straight game, Wheaton sophomore guard Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) led the team in scoring with 15 points highlighted by a 4-for-8 showing from long range. Junior forward Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) produced a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while sophomore forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) notched ten points and hauled in a game-high 14 rebounds. Junior guard Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) added 11 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals in 27 minutes off the bench for the Lyons.
Mount Holyoke junior forward Amber Legare (Chicopee, Mass./Chicopee Comprehensive) registered 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field and 11 rebounds to pace the hosts. Classmate Kate Karraker (Morgantown, W.V./Taft School) tied Legare for the team-high in points with 16 to go along with five rebounds, five assists and a block. Senior guard/forward Jennine Vizcaino (New York, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon) contributed 12 points, four rebounds, six assists and one steal.
Wheaton outscored Mount Holyoke, 22-12, in the paint and 15-5 in second chance points while shooting 33.9-percent (21-for-62) from the field. Mount Holyoke held a 46-42 advantage on the boards and an 18-14 margin in assists. The hosts shot 37.3-percent (22-for-59) from the field and just 36.8-percent (7-for-19) at the free throw line despite 11 more attempts than Wheaton who shot 62.5-percent (5-for-8) at the charity stripe. Wheaton also limited its turnovers to four in the final frame after committing 12 in the first half.
Trailing 36-27 with 13:56 remaining in the second stanza, Wheaton went on a 10-0 run to take a 37-36 lead on the backend of an Arnone and-one at the 10:39 mark. Shoemaker got the offensive spurt going with a layup (13:33) and Kuhn helped sway the momentum in Wheaton's favor at the 11:36 mark with her third and final three-pointer of the night. Brickley made it a one-possession game with 10:54 left to play before Arnone capped the run.
Mount Holyoke tied the game in its next possession as junior forward Nicole DeMarchena (Miami, Fla./Amherst Regional) went 1-for-2 from the free throw line, but Brickley put home a layup and a free throw after being fouled to give Wheaton the lead for good.
Wheaton pushed its advantage out to as many as seven points (48-41) with 8:03 remaining in the game as Kuhn cleaned up her own rebound underneath the basket and Arnone and junior guard Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) canned back-to-back three-pointers.
Trailing 56-51 (2:28), Mount Holyoke chipped away at its deficit down the stretch as Vizcaino buried a pair of free throws and a layup with 55-seconds to go to bring the contest within one point (56-55). Mount Holyoke had two chances to connect on the go-ahead basket with under 30-seconds left, but senior forward Sarah Fitzgerald (Bath, Maine/Morse) hauled in a missed layup with one-second on the scoreboard to secure the victory and a sweep over Mount Holyoke in the regular season series.
Wheaton (14-3, 9-3 NEWMAC) hosts Smith College this Saturday at 1 p.m. as the Blue and White will be participating in the Coaches vs. Cancer program versus the Pioneers inside Emerson Gymnasium. Mount Holyoke travels to Clark on Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest.