Guards dish out 19 assists in victory
NORTON, Mass. – Wheaton College senior guard Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass./St. Mary's) nearly recorded a triple-double to help lead the second-seeded Lyons to a 78-64 victory over seventh-seeded Emerson College on Wednesday night in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament quarterfinal round matchup.
Wheaton (19-7), who led wire-to-wire versus the Lions tonight, will now advance to the semifinal round of the conference tournament and will play third-seeded Coast Guard Academy on Saturday, February 28 at first-seeded Springfield College at 3:30 p.m. Emerson's season comes to a close at 12-14 overall.
Ferrari fueled the Blue and White with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor (2-for-2 3PT, 1-for-2 FT) alongside nine rebounds, six assists and two steals. Junior forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) paced all scorers with 16 points (5-of-14 FG, 6-of-6 FT) to go with 10 ten rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season.
Senior forward Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) and junior guard Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) both registered 15 points, while senior guard Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) dished out a game-high eight assists. Brickley added five rebounds, two assists, one block and a steal, while Arnone pulled down six boards and had three assists.
Senior guard Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) chipped in with six points, eight rebounds and one assist.
Emerson featured three student-athletes in double-figures highlighted by senior Kristin Brice (Indiana, Penn./Indiana Area Senior) who compiled a team-high 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor (2-for-2 FT). Junior forward Kelsey Johnson (Syracuse, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) notched ten points, six rebounds and four blocks and first-year forward Sierra Ducey (Poway, Calif./The Bishop's School) collected ten points, five assists, three boards and two steals.
Sophomore guard Emily Cameron (Culver City, Calif./University) and first-year guard Eastin Ashby (Pittston, Penn./Pittston Area) rounded out the list of highlights for the Lions as Cameron contributed eight points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal and Ashby poured in seven points to go with four rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.
Wheaton opened up the contest with an 11-0 run as Brickley led the charge with seven points including her 14th career three-pointer at the 17:49 mark to make it 9-0 and Shoemaker added a jumper and two free throws to account for all the scoring during the offensive spurt.
Emerson cut the deficit to five points (15-10) with 12:08 remaining in the half receiving three-pointers from Cameron and sophomore guard Elizabeth Horan (Ashland, Mass./Marian) and two points apiece via Brice and Ducey, but the Blue and White responded with a 22-6 run to break the game wide open before the end of the stanza.
Shoemaker, Brickley, Ferrari, Arnone and Kuhn combined for 35 out of Wheaton's 41 points in the stanza, which marked its eighth double-digit lead at halftime (41-26) this season and second against Emerson in three games this year.
In the second half, Emerson was able to close the gap to 12 points (69-57) with 4:17 to play in the game, but Wheaton's offense continued its hot shooting as the Blue and White scored nine of the game's final 14 points to seal the contest, 78-64, and finished the contest at 44.1-percent (26-for-59) from the floor. The Lyons also shot 63.6-percent (7-for-11) from long range and 86.4-percent (19-for-22) at the free throw line.
In three games versus Emerson this season, Wheaton has won the rebounding matchup by ten or more caroms including tonight's 46-30 margin on the glass. The visiting Lions held a 35-24 margin in bench points and a 36-30 advantage in points in the paint.