NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College women's basketball team fell 77-68 to Babson College on Wednesday night in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest in Emerson Gymnasium.
The loss drops the Lyons to 14-7 on the season and 7-5 in the NEWMAC, while the Beavers improve to 15-5 overall and 11-1 in conference action.
Senior Rebecca Arnone picked up the games only double-double, netting 11 points, while pulling down 12 rebounds for Wheaton. Arnone also contributed two assists, one block and two steals. Jill Bodreau led Wheaton with a team-high 13 points on a 5-8 performance from the floor, which included going 3-6 from three-point range. Both Kiley Shoemaker and Oppie Morris finished with 10 points for the Lyons.
Kristen Ferola led all players with 23 points for the Beavers, finishing 8-11 from the floor and 7-8 from the free-throw line. Giovanna Pickering netted 16 points in the win, while also collecting a team-high nine rebounds and Linnett Graber chipped in 15 points in the victory.
The visitors quickly got things going with points from Graber, Taylor Russell and Ferola, taking a 7-2 advantage with less than four minutes gone in the first quarter. Wheaton battled back taking the lead at the 3:39 mark on a layup by Shoemaker that made it an 11-10 contest.
Trailing 17-16 at the end of one, the Lyons broke a three-minute deadlock to start the second quarter, recapturing the lead on another Shoemaker layup. Ferola earned the lead back for Babson with 2:59 remaining in the first half, making it a 24-22 game. The Green and white would never trail again.
After taking a 32-28 lead into halftime, the Beavers came out on fire in the third quarter pushing the tempo of the game. Back-to-back free-throws by Ferola handed Babson its first double-digit lead of the contest with 3:13 to play in the third quarter.
The Lyons managed to pull back within eight points, 57-49, to start the fourth quarter courtesy of a three-pointer by Emily Cuthbertson. That would be as close as the hosts would get. The Green and White picked up their largest lead with 4:01 on the clock with a layup by Graber that made it a 71-52 game. Wheaton pulled within single digits to end the game with a layup by Maria Matrango with 32 seconds remaining in regulation.
At half time of the contest, the Lyons celebrated National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) by honoring its senior female student-athletes, as well as the Beaver senior women's basketball players. NGWSD began in 1987 as a day to remember Olympic volleyball player, Flo Hyman, for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women's sports. Hyman died of Marfan's Syndrome in 1986 while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan. Since that time, NGWSD has evolved into a day devoted to acknowledging the past accomplishments of female athletes and recognizing current sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation, and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.
Wheaton returns to the court on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. at Wellesley.