Pierce amps up career-high in points for second-straight contest
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Wheaton College women's basketball team pushed its winning streak to five-straight games with a 64-57 triumph over Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Wednesday night in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action inside Rockwell Cage.
Lyons' sophomore forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) compiled her fourth-straight double-double and seventh in her last eight games with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Junior guard Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) served as the catalyst for the offense with a team-high 17 points, a game-high seven assists and two rebounds.
Classmate Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) added 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Junior guard Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) tallied 12 points including a perfect 3-for-3 showing from beyond the arc, three steals and a pair of rebounds and assists. In 12 minutes off the bench, senior Lauren McClelland (Scituate, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) contributed three points and six rebounds to aid the Lyons in the victory.
MIT senior forward Rachel Hunt (Arlington Heights, Ill./Prospect) highlighted all scorers with a game-high 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field to go along with six rebounds, one block and a steal. Sophomore guard Sabrina Drammis (Hilton Head Island, S.C./Hilton Head Island) registered 12 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. Freshman guard Liana Ilutzi (East Hanover, N.J./Hanover Park) collected ten points, five rebounds and dished out a game-high seven helpers. Sophomore forward Maya Ramachandran (Fremont, Calif./Mission San Jose) chipped in with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks, while junior guard Osheiza Otori (Metairie, La./Ridgewood Preparatory School) had six points, five boards, two blocks and two swipes.
The Engineers held a slim 38-36 advantage on the glass and a 34-10 differential in points in the paint. Wheaton recorded an 18-11 differential in points off turnovers, assisted on all 16 of its made baskets and won the turnover matchup, 11-17.
Down 51-47 with 5:41 left to play in the contest, Wheaton posted a 4-0 run over nearly two minutes of play to even the score at 51-51 as Shoemaker buried a layup at the 4:38 mark and converted a pair of free throws with 3:44 remaining on the scoreboard. After a steal by sophomore guard Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) on MIT's next possession, Ferrari swished a three-pointer on a feed by Pierce to take a 54-51 advantage.
The Lyons capitalized on the momentum with a 10-6 run down the stretch highlighted by back-to-back threes from Arnone and Pierce and a 4-for-6 performance at the free throw line to close out the game. Wheaton tied up the contest twice in the second half in large part to shooting 73.7-percent (14-for-19) from the line and 41.7-percent (5-for-12) from beyond the arc.
A tightly contest matchup throughout, the largest lead for any team came at the 15:10 mark of the first half as MIT held an eight point margin (10-2). Both teams remained within two possessions or less from the 11:44 mark of the first half on until Arnone's final free throw with eight seconds remaining gave Wheaton its biggest lead in the entire contest.
Wheaton (19-4, 14-4 NEWMAC) visits Babson College for a NEWMAC clash on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Lyons will be in search of its fifth 20-win season with a victory over the Beavers this weekend. MIT (9-13, 6-11 NEWMAC) hosts Clark University this Saturday at 2 p.m.