Mass. College Hoops: Babson Rallies For 68-63 Victory Over Wheaton

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Babson College sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release from the women’s basketball game, which saw the Beaver erase a two-point deficit at halftime en route to a 68-63 victory over rival Wheaton College: 

BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore Linnett Graber (Roseland, N.J.) scored 17 points and classmate Briana Hunt (Newton, Mass.) added 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists as Babson College slipped past visiting Wheaton College, 68-63, in New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Staake Gymnasium.

With its fifth straight win, Babson is now 13-10 overall and 12-6 in the NEWMAC, while Wheaton, which is currently ranked sixth in the region, slips to 19-5 overall and 14-5 in conference play.

First-year Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.) had nine points and 10 rebounds in her return to the lineup for the Beavers, while classmate Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) chipped in with seven points, four assists and a game-high four steals in the win.

Sophomore Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y.) led all players with 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Lyons. Junior Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah) and sophomore Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, N.H.) added 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Both teams started fast and after falling behind 11-8 on a layup by Graber at the 13:48 mark, Wheaton ripped off a 17-2 run to build a 12-point lead. Arnone, who started the spurt with a three-pointer, and Shoemaker combined for 12 points during the run, and the Lyons started 9-of-16 from the floor go ahead 25-13 with 7:34 to go in the half.

Wheaton took its biggest lead of the game at 30-17 with 5:17 remaining in the opening half, but Babson responded with a 15-4 burst, capped by a Narlee layup just before the buzzer to get within 34-32 at the break.

Both teams shot 46.4 percent in the opening period and the Green and White outscored the Lyons 18-12 in the paint.

Four quick points from Shoemaker and a three-pointer from junior Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass.) helped Wheaton go back in front 43-37 with 15:07 to go in the game. Sophomore Kristen Ferola (Amherst, Mass.) and junior Erin Young (Westwood, Mass.) buried back-to-back threes to help Babson tie the game, and consecutive hoops from sophomore Jess Coelho (Westport, Conn.) and Pickering put the Beavers in front for the first time since early in the first half at 47-45 with 12:16 remaining.

Trailing 56-52 after another three-pointer from Young, Ferrari drilled a triple of her own and Shoemaker knocked down a short jumper to put the Lyons back in front, 57-56, at the 4:33 mark.  Four straight free throws from Graber helped the Green and White retake a 60-57 advantage, and Hunt followed two free throws by Shoemaker with a pair of her own to keep Babson ahead 62-59 with just 1:38 mark.

After two consecutive defensive stops, Graber knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key with just three seconds on the shot clock, pushing the Beavers lead to 65-59 with under a minute to go. The Lyons committed a turnover on the ensuing possession and Hunt put the game out of reach with three free throws in the last 32 seconds for the final margin.

Babson shot 41.4 percent (24-for-58) on the afternoon and held a 28-22 edge in paint scoring. The Lyons finished at 39.7 percent (23-for-58) from the field and outscored the Beavers 17-15 off turnovers.

Both teams return to action on Wednesday at 7 p.m. as Babson hosts MIT and Wheaton hosts Wellesley in its season finale.

GAME NOTES: Babson is now 39-15 all-time against Wheaton and has won 13 straight games over the Lyons going back to 2009…With two three-pointers in the game, Young is now tied for second all-time in program history with 138 career trifectas…going into the final week of the regular season the Beavers are tied for third in the NEWMAC standings and would host a tournament quarterfinal with wins in their final two games.

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