Wellesley College staved off a late rally from the Wheaton College women's basketball team to post a 70-56 victory over the Lyons in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday night at the Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.
Wheaton sophomore guard Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) recorded a team-high 11 points, two rebounds and two assists. Classmate Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) contributed ten points, a team-high seven rebounds, two steals and one assist. Freshman guard Rebecca Arnone(Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) had ten points, six caroms, one assist and one steal. Junior guard Melissa McLaughlin (Spindale, N.C./R-S Central) tallied ten points, four assists and three rebounds. Sophomore forward Lauren McClelland (Scituate, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) chipped in with seven points, one rebound, one assist and one blocked shot.
Junior guard Leslie Leong (Sacramento, Calif./John F. Kennedy)paced all scorers with 13 points, six rebounds, two assists and one steal in 28 minutes off of the bench. Senior forward Ashleigh Sargent (Bedford, N.H./Bishop Brady) tallied 11 points, three steals, two assists and two rebounds. Sophomore guard Courtney Jackson (Baldwin, N.Y./Baldwin Senior) added 11 points and four rebounds while senior guard Malia Maier (Torrance, Calif./Palos Verdes Estates) compiled ten points, a game-high seven steals and five assists.
Trailing by nine points (47-38) with 12:03 remaining in the contest, the Lyons pulled within four points (48-44) using a 6-1 run over the next four minutes and ten seconds of action. Arnone jumpstarted the offense as she canned a three-pointer at 10:33 to cut the deficit to 47-41. After Jackson connected on 1-for-2 of her free throw attempts at 8:07 for Wellesley, McLaughlin converted an old-fashioned three-point play with a layup through traffic at 7:53 and her first of three free throws on the night.
Wellesley quickly erased any momentum that Wheaton gathered during its run with three-straight baskets over a one minute and 37-second span to squander the Lyons rally. Sargent put home a layup at the 7:00 mark, Maier swiped the ball away from Wheaton on the ensuing inbounds play and dropped in a two-point basket at 6:43 and freshman forward Chelsi Scott (Portland, Mich./Portland) added a layup at 6:16 to cap the scoring outburst.
The Blue, who were up by ten points (54-44) with just over six minutes to play, closed out the contest on a 16-4 run to win their second-straight game. Leong led the hosts with six points while Jackson and Sargent contributed four points apiece during that stretch. Scott also added a layup at the 1:42 mark to round out the scoring.
The Lyons outrebounded the hosts, 33-31, and connected on 38.8-percent (19-for-49) of their field goals. The Blue outscored the visitors, 38-16, in the paint and shot 43.6-percent (24-for-55) from the field.
Wheaton (8-14, 5-10 NEWMAC) hosts Clark University in a NEWMAC matchup on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. Wellesley (12-7, 11-4 NEWMAC) visits WPI on Saturday for a conference contest at 2 p.m.