Women’s Basketball Locks Down No. 2 Seed In NEWMAC Tournament With 77-72 Victory Over Babson

Women’s Basketball Locks Down No. 2 Seed In NEWMAC Tournament With 77-72 Victory Over Babson

Brickley nets 31 points

BABSON PARK, Mass. – Senior Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) poured in a game-high 31 points, and visiting Wheaton College knocked down 13 three-pointers on its way to defeating Babson College, 77-72, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Staake Gymnasium.

With its 13th win in the last 15 games, Wheaton moves to 18-7 overall and 13-3 in conference play. The Lyons also locked up the second seed in next week's NEWMAC Tournament. Babson, which had its two-game winning streak snapped, falls to 17-8 overall and 12-4 in league play, and will be the fourth seed in the conference tournament.

Brickley, who has now registered four 30-plus point games in her career, was 14-of-19 from the floor to go along with six rebounds for the Lyons. Junior Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) finished with 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting, while classmate Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) added 10 points and four assists. Junior Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) contributed nine points, 11 rebounds and a school record 10 blocks, and senior Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) dished out a game-high 10 assists in the win.

Senior Erin Young (Westwood, Mass./Westwood) knocked down five three-pointers and finished with a team-high 18 points for the Beavers. Sophomore Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass./Phillips Andover) recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while junior Kristen Ferola (Amhest, Mass./Amherst Reg.) came off the bench to score 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Sophomore Ashley Snyder (Foxboro, Mass./Foxboro) chipped in with seven points and nine boards.

The Green and White trailed 6-2 early before Pickering and Young combined for 12 of the next 14 points to take a 14-8 lead. Wheaton got within three on a layup by Brickley, but Snyder drained a foul line jumper and then connected on a pair of free throws on the next possession to give the Beavers their biggest lead of the opening half at the 12:33 mark.

The Lyons cut their deficit to 28-27 on back-to-back three-pointers by Brickley and Pierce, but Young buried her fourth trey of the stanza, and then converted a three-point play following a steal to push the Babson lead back to 34-27 with 5:43 left in the half. Ferola sank two free throws with 1:45 remaining to match the biggest lead of the half, but Brickley went 2-of-2 at the line with 41-seconds to go, cutting the Beavers lead to 40-35 at the break.

Babson got three points apiece from Graber and Snyder to open its biggest advantage of the game at 46-37 with 17:03 to play. Wheaton responded with a 12-0 run though, getting eight points from Arnone and four from Brickley to move in front 49-46. The Beavers tied the game on a trey by junior Marissa Cicchetti (Mansfield, Mass./Bishop Feehan), but Shoemaker and senior Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) buried consecutive triples to put the Lyons back up 57-51 with 11:51 remaining.

A three-pointer by Kuhn gave Wheaton its biggest lead of the game at 65-56 with 7:08 to go, but the Green and White got back-to-back treys from Young and Ferola to cut its deficit to 65-62 at the 5:15 mark. Ferola knocked down a jumper on the next trip, and followed it with her second triple of the game to get the Beavers within 68-67 with 4:13 left.

Babson cut the Lyons' advantage to one on two more occasions, the last coming on a jumper by Pickering with 1:37 remaining, but Brickley converted a layup, and Shoemaker drained two free throws after blocking a pair of shots to make it 76-71 with 27-seconds to go.

Wheaton shot 62.5 percent in the second half and 51.9 percent (28-of-54) for the game, including a 13-of-26 effort from long distance. The Lyons also held a 28-20 edge in paint scoring.

The Green and White shot just 32.9 percent (24-of-73) and went 10-of-41 from the field in the second half. The Beavers grabbed 21 offensive rebounds and finished with a 45-34 edge on the glass.

Both teams will host NEWMAC Tournament quarterfinal games on Wednesday at 7 p.m. as Babson takes on fifth-seeded WPI, while Wheaton will play seventh-seeded Emerson.

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