Lyons to open up conference play on Wednesday
NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College women's basketball team fell to nationally ranked Tufts University, 71-42, on Monday night in non-conference action at Emerson Gymnasium.
Tufts, ranked No. 3 overall in the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today Division III national poll and No. 4 in the D3hoops.com rankings, pushed its unbeaten streak to six-straight games to start the season. With the loss, Wheaton is now 4-1 in its 2014 campaign.
Senior forward Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) paced the Lyons with 12 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one block. Junior forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) added ten points, five rebounds and two blocks and senior guard Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) chipped in with seven points, three boards, two assists and a steal.
Tufts senior guard Hannah Foley (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro) led all scorers with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc alongside six rebounds, four assists and one steal. Sophomore forward/center Michela North (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) contributed 15 points, eight rebounds and a game-high five steals, while senior forward Hayley Kanner (Scarsdale, N.Y./Scarsdale) had 12 points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal. Classmate Kelsey Morehead (Foster City, Calif./Pinewood) notched nine points, two rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Junior guard Emma Roberson (Arlington, Mass./Arlington Catholic) rounded out the starters with four points, three boards, a game-high six assists, one block and two steals.
The Jumbos raced out to a 21-2 lead only 7:29 into the contest as all five starters tallied at least two points, respectively, during the spurt. Foley guided the offensive outburst with eight points – including a pair of three pointers – while Kanner had six and Morehead registered a three-pointer at 16:34, which capped a 13-0 run before Wheaton got on the scoreboard. North and Roberson also recorded one basket each for the visitors.
Tufts opened up its lead to as many as 38 points (58-20) with 15:15 remaining in the second half before Wheaton eventually brought its deficit down under 30 to end the game at 71-42. Kuhn collected all seven of her points in the final stanza, while first-year Oppie Morris (Ware, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) had three points and sophomore Sophie Black (Gloucester, Mass./Gloucester) scored one bucket for the Lyons in the last 20 minutes of play. Senior guard Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) finished second on the team in scoring in the second half with five points and one rebound to highlight some of the play in the second stanza for the Lyons.
In the first half, the Jumbos shot 47.4-percent (18-for-38) from the field and 57.1-percent (8-for-14) from long range to secure its 27-point advantage and never looked back. Tufts held a 44-34 margin on the boards for the entire contest, a 29-9 differential in points off turnovers and also kept Wheaton under its season average for points allowed by eight (48.0 ppg). The Jumbos entered tonight's game ranked No. 15 overall in the country in scoring defense among 432 teams.
Wheaton (4-1), who is receiving votes in both the WBCA/USA Today Division III and the D3hoops.com national polls, begins conference play at home on Wednesday against Clark University at 7 p.m. Tufts (6-0) hosts Fitchburg State University this Saturday for a non-conference matchup at 2 p.m.