BABSON PARK, Mass. – Despite a solid game, the Wheaton College women's basketball team was unable to overcome a late run by Babson College on Wednesday night, falling 71-65 in the teams final regular season game in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action in Staake Gymnasium.
Wheaton concludes the regular season at 17-8 overall and 10-6 in conference action. Babson collects its 11th straight win to improve to 19-5 on the season and 14-1 in league play.
Kristen Ferola scored a team-high 20 points for the Beavers. Junior Giovanna Pickering contributed 16 points, eight boards and three steals, while senior Linnett Grabber added 11 points and eight caroms.
Babson took an early 15-5 lead with the help of nine points from Ferola less than five minutes into the contest. The Lyons cut the deficit to four points on a three-pointer by Arnone.
Trailing 21-13 heading into the second quarter, Wheaton pulled within four points midway through, just to have Babson respond with an 8-1 spurt. The Beavers took a 39-28 advantage into the locker room.
Wheaton closed to within five late in the third quarter, but Babson once again pushed its lead to double digits. Shoemaker and Arnone teamed up to score 15 straight points to help pull the Lyons closer. Ruthie Zientek tied the game at 61 all with a three-point play with 3:54 remaining.
A put back by Shoemaker gave Wheaton its first lead since the opening possession of the game with 2:35 left to go. The Beavers cut the deficit with a free-throw on the ensuing possession, while Ferola followed with a transition layup to take the lead and a three-pointer one possession later made it a 67-63 game for Babson with 26 seconds remaining. The Beavers sealed the win with four straight free-throws moments later.
Wheaton returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Coast Guard Academy for the Quarterfinals of the NEWMAC Tournament.