Wellesley Tops Wheaton, 54-52, In Lyons Regular Season Final

Wellesley Tops Wheaton, 54-52, In Lyons Regular Season Final

Shoemaker records sixth-straight double-double


NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College women's basketball team dropped its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season finale to Wellesley College by a score of 54-52 on Wednesday night inside Emerson Gymnasium.

Prior to tonight's game, Wheaton seniors Sarah Fitzgerald (Bath, Maine/Morse) and Lauren McClelland (Scituate, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) were honored for their contributions towards the women's basketball program.

With the win, Wellesley (15-8, 12-7 NEWMAC) snapped its five game losing streak and swept its second consecutive regular season series versus Wheaton. The Lyons fall to 19-6 overall and 14-6 in conference play. Wheaton awaits the winner of the Smith/Emerson matchup for a possible share of the NEWMAC regular season title.

Lyons' sophomore forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) collected her sixth-straight double-double and ninth in last ten games with 11 points, 18 rebounds (five offensive), four blocks and two steals. Shoemaker is currently six blocks away from tying Jenny Champney '10 for the school record in career blocks (148).

Junior guard Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) finished with 11 points, three assists and two rebounds, while classmate Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) had ten points, a career-high eight rebounds and five assists. Junior forward Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) registered eight points, nine rebounds, two steals and one assist. Third-year Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) compiled seven points, six rebounds and one assist.

Wellesley senior guard Leslie Leong (Sacramento, Calif./John F. Kennedy) posted a game-high 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting to go along with 11 boards, two steals and a pair of assists. Freshman Ailis Hanley (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) notched nine points, six rebounds and three steals. Junior forward Morgyne Weaver (Oklahoma City, Okla./St. Mary) chipped in with nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and two swipes.

Down 28-27 at the break after Hanley canned a layup with two seconds remaining in the stanza, Wheaton opened the second half with a jumper from Shoemaker to produce a quick 29-28 differential on the scoreboard 27-seconds into the action. Wellesley responded with a 12-3 run spearheaded by a team-high five points from Leong for a 40-32 advantage (14:04).

The Blue maintained their lead until the 4:57 mark as Wheaton chipped away at its deficit with a 15-7 spurt capped by a pair of free throws from Brickley. Wellesley junior guard Meghan Sargent (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Brady) reclaimed the lead converting two free throws on its next possession, but Pierce put home a layup at 3:24 and Ferrari knocked down a three-pointer from the right wing for a 52-49 advantage with 2:58 left to play.

Wellesley went 5-of-6 at the free throw line down the stretch and avoided a game-winning layup with one-second left on the clock to clinch the victory.

The Lyons grabbed a season-high 58 rebounds including 29 on the offensive glass, held a 14-4 margin in second chance points and a 25-9 differential in bench points. The Blue had nine steals, six blocks and recorded a .309 field goal percentage (17-for-55).

Wheaton (19-6, 14-6 NEWMAC) awaits tonight's and Saturday's NEWMAC contests to determine its seeding in the upcoming conference tournament. Wellesley (15-8, 12-7 NEWMAC) hosts Mount Holyoke College on Saturday, February 22 at 2 p.m. to wrap up its regular season slate.

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