Mass. College Hoops: Babson 70, No. 22 Wheaton 53

By Brian Willwerth 

NORTON, Mass. – After Saturday afternoon’s NEWMAC contest at Wheaton College, the women’s basketball standings are a lot tighter.

The Babson College Beavers rolled to their third straight win of 2014, a 70-53 victory over the No. 22 Lyons. Babson has won three straight, while Wheaton has dropped two in a row following a 12-game winning streak to start the season.

Babson’s transition game and its defense were the stories of this one. The Beavers scored 15 fast-break points to just seven for the Lyons. Babson’s bench also held a 22-12 advantage in that department. The Beavers led by eight at the intermission, and led by as many as 22 in the second half. Defensively, they held the Lyons to just 32% from the field. Babson only shot 37%, but the extra offensive opportunities were big.

“Our number-one key the last 48 hours has been stopping Babson’s transition from the beginning, and making them execute in the half-court. And we didn’t,” said Wheaton head coach Melissa Hodgdon.

For the visitors, Jennifer Narlee recorded a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds), while Linnett Graber led all scorers with 16 points to go along with nine boards. Kristen Ferola was the third Beaver in double-figures; she had eleven.

Abbie Brickley led the Lyons in scoring with 15 points.

“Great teams execute game plans,” said Hodgdon. “We get back after it tomorrow, and play a great Wellesley team on Wednesday.”

That game will be a battle for first place in the conference. The Beavers, meanwhile, will travel to MIT on Wednesday night, looking for their fourth win in a row.

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