NORTON, Mass. - The Wheaton College women's basketball team picked up an important victory on Wednesday night, defeating visiting Emerson College 72-66 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action.
The win moves the Lyons to 16-7 on the season and 9-5 in conference play as Wheaton vies for a favorable seed in the NEWMAC Tournament. The Lions of Emerson fall to 10-12 overall and 5-8 in the NEWMAC.
Rebecca Arnone led all players with 24 points after hitting 7-15 from the floor and 8-9 from the free-throw line. The also collected six rebounds and a block. Oppie Morris contributed 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds in the win, while Sophie Black scored 13 points off the bench.
Charlie Boyle led Emerson with 16 points on a 7-11 shooting performance, while Sierra Ducey and Janissa Delzo each scored 12 points, while Ducey collected a game-high 10 rebounds. Eastin Ashby ended the contest with 11 points.
Alyssa Almario wasted no time getting the home team on the board, nailing a three-pointer just 10 seconds into the first quarter. Wheaton held the lead the entire quarter, running up a 23-16 lead over the opening nine minutes. Boyle pulled the Lions back within five points with 46 seconds left courtesy of a jumper.
Wheaton responded with a layup by Black and three-pointer by Arnone to start the second quarter, taking a 28-18 advantage. Emerson wasn't out of the game however, coming back to tie the game at 32-32 with a strong 12-4 run. A fast break layup by Boyle with 2:16 left until halftime earned the Lions their first lead of the game. Wheaton recaptured the lead shortly after with back-to-back layups by Black.
Leading 38-36 to start the third quarter, the Lyons increased their lead back to seven points, 43-36, in the opening three and half minutes. The visitors managed to pull within one point, 47-46, after Ducey hit two free-throws with a little under two minutes left. Morris ended the quarter with a three-pointer for Wheaton, sending the Lyons into the final quarter leading 50-46.
Ducey tied the game at 50 all at the start of the fourth quarter, before a layup by Kelsey Johnson handed the lead back to Emerson. Kiley Shoemaker earned the lead back to for Wheaton with 7:27 with a layup assisted by Emily Cuthbertson. The Lyons would never trail again.
Wheaton returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. against WPI. The Lyons will honor their three graduating seniors prior to the start of the contest.