NORTON, Mass. – A balanced scoring attack led the Wheaton College women’s basketball team to a decisive 84-61 non-conference victory over Plymouth State University Tuesday night in Emerson Gymnasium during the teams’ first career meeting. The Lyons moved to 3-2 with their second straight home win, while the Panthers dropped their fourth straight in falling to 3-4.
Junior Krystin Hickey (Manchester, N.H.) led Wheaton with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Sophomore Jenny Champney (Bedford, Mass.) notched 14 points, senior Becky Aitchison (Norwalk, Conn.) totaled 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while junior Bri Smith (Westford, Mass.) added 12 points.
Sophomore Laura Kent (Bellingham, Mass.) paced the Panthers with a career-high 15 points, shooting 4-of-5 from the field and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. Junior Annie Alosa (Concord, N.H.) recorded 13 points, while senior Meg MacDonald (Salem, N.H.) added 11, hitting all nine of her free throw attempts. Classmate Lauren Daniels (Concord, N.H.) had nine markers and a game-best 11 rebounds, her third straight double-digit effort on the boards.
Wheaton seized control of the game in the first half, using a 15-3 run to double up the visitors, 24-12 at the 8:08 mark. The Lyons reeled off 13 of the game’s 16 points during a four-minute span later in the half for the largest advantage to that point. Plymouth State closed out the half on an 8-2 run to get to within 39-27 at the break.
A Panther three-pointer 57 seconds into the second frame cut the deficit to single digits, but six straight Wheaton points made it a 15-point game, and the Lyons never led by fewer than 13 the rest of the way. The final score proved to be the contest’s largest margin, as the hosts went 14-of-17 from the free throw line in the second half.
The Panthers made all 10 of their free throw tries in the second half, finishing at a school-record 95.7 percent clip by going 22-of-23.
Wheaton faces its toughest test of the season Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at highly-touted Brandeis University, which is currently receiving votes in both national polls. The Panthers return to Little East Conference action Saturday at Western Connecticut (1:00 p.m.)
(Courtesy of Wheaton Sports Information)
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