Ferrari's all-around game on full display in key league victory
NORTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College women's basketball team pushed its winning streak to five-straight games with a decisive 72-42 victory over Wellesley College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup on Thursday night inside Emerson Gymnasium.
Wheaton senior forward Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) led all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting (5-for-6 FT) alongside nine rebounds, three assists and one steal. Junior forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) added 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal, while senior guard Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) compiled nine points, four rebounds and two assists.
Classmate Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) contributed on both ends of the floor with ten points, a career-high eight assists, a game-high four steals and one rebound. Starting guard Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) aided the Lyons in the victory with four points, nine rebounds, four assists and one steal. Off the bench, junior guard Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) had six points and two assists, while first-year forward Oppie Morris (Ware, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) notched seven points and hauled in nine caroms.
Wellesley senior forward Morgyne Weaver (Oklahoma City, Okla./Mt. St. Mary) paced the visitors with 12 points, three rebounds, one assist and a block. First-year guard Kayla Jang (South Pasadena, Calif./Milton Academy) filled the stat sheet with six points, five rebounds, a career-high seven assists and one steal. Sophomore forward Ailis Hanley (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) chipped in with nine points and four rebounds, while senior Meghan Sargent (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Brady) registered four points, seven rebounds and one assist. Junior forward Chelsi Scott (Portland, Mich./Portland) also turned in three points, seven rebounds, one assist and a steal in the loss.
The Lyons opened up the contest on a 13-0 run and never looked back. Ferrari got the offense going with a three-pointer on Wheaton's first possession and Brickley and Shoemaker followed with back-to-back layups as both post players sealed off their defenders on the low block for a pair of quick scores. Shoemaker then scored a fast break layup at the 18:01 mark to make it a 10-0 score before Pierce drilled a three-pointer on a feed by Kuhn to cap the offensive outburst.
Blue senior guard Kendall Bianchi (Arlington, Va./Sidwell Friends) stopped the run with 16:45 to play with a three-pointer of her own off a nice pass from Hanley, but Wheaton stayed red hot from the floor pushing its advantage back to 13 points (21-8) with 14:22 left in the half.
After the Lyons reclaimed their double-digit lead, Hanley answered for the Blue with a layup and a smooth jump shot to cut Wellesley's deficit back to single digits, 21-12, at the 12:43 mark of the stanza. Wheaton went on to outscore the Blue 17-6 down the stretch to balloon its gap to 38-18 at the break. Brickley fueled the run, which spanned over the final 7:17 of the half, with a team-best seven points. The Lyons also received at least one point from five different student-athletes during the spurt.
In the second half, Wheaton only allowed its advantage to slip under 20 points once during the stanza (48-29) with 13:36 on the clock to secure its sixth league victory of the season and keep pace with Babson and Springfield who are also 6-1 in NEWMAC play this season.
The Lyons are only the fourth team to score 70 or more points against Wellesley this season as the Blue entered tonight's contest ranked No. 25 in the country in scoring defense yielding an average of 52.0 points per games to their opposition thus far.
Wheaton shot 45.0-percent (27-for-60) from the field, 33.3-percent (7-for-21) from long distance and 64.7-percent (11-for-17) at the free throw line. The Lyons also won the matchup on the boards, 49-33, fashioned a 36-14 differential in points in the paint and assisted on 24 of their 27 made baskets. Wellesley went 25.0-percent (15-for-60) from the floor, 22.2-percent (4-for-18) from beyond the arc and 47.1-percent (8-for-17) from the charity stripe.
Wheaton (10-5, 6-1 NEWMAC) hosts Smith College this Saturday for a league matchup scheduled to tip-off at 1 p.m. Wellesley (5-9, 2-5 NEWMAC) plays Springfield at Babson College on Saturday in a NEWMAC contest at 5 p.m.