Mass. College Hoops: Babson, Tufts Capture Respective Conference Crowns

By Matt Noonan 

On Sunday afternoon, the Babson College and Tufts University women’s basketball teams each captured their respective conference crowns, while earning automatic-bids to the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament that commences later this week.

The Beavers defeated Wheaton College in Springfield by a score of 77-51, while the Jumbos topped Bowdoin College at home by a score of 68-52.

Babson Captures Sixth NEWMAC Crown in Seven Seasons: Linnett Graber stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, nine rebounds, five assists and one steal, while Taylor Russell poured in a game-and-team-high 16 points as the Beavers overcame a regular season setback to the Lyons.

Babson led Wheaton, 42-18, at the break before tacking on 35 points during the second stanza. The Lyons rallied by netting 33 points in the second half, including nine points from Abbie Brickley and eight points from Kiley Shoemaker. Laura Pierce netted a team-high 12 points for the Blue and White, while Shoemaker pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.

The Beavers, who entered the tournament as the fourth seed, earned a trip to the finals by defeating WPI and host Springfield in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, respectively. Wheaton’s road to the championship began with a quarterfinal victory over Emerson College before they defeated U.S. Coast Guard Academy yesterday in the semifinal.

Jennifer Narlee added 10 points for the Green and White, while Erin Young connected on three of seven shots from beyond the arc.

Tufts wins Second-Straight NESCAC crown: Four Jumbos registered double-digits, including 16 points from Emma Roberson as Tufts defended its tournament crown from one year ago.

Tufts led Bowdoin, 28-22, at the break before netting 40 points in the second half to secure their 26th win of the season.

Roberson scored 11 of her 16 points during the final 20 minutes, while Michela North, Hayley Kanner and Josie Lee netted 14, 12 and 12 points, respectively. Kelsey Morehead came off the bench and poured in seven points, while Melissa Baptista – also came off the bench – added two points, one rebound and one block.

Mass. College Hoops: Wheaton Picks Up Fourth Straight Win, Tops Colorado College, 84-68


The Wheaton College women’s basketball team extended their current winning streak to four games, defeating Colorado College in Emerson Gymnasium this evening. Here is the release, courtesy of the Wheaton College Sports Information Department:

NORTON, Mass. – Fueled by a career-high 33 points from senior forward Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline), the Wheaton College women’s basketball team extended its winning streak to four-straight games with an 84-68 non-conference triumph over Colorado College on Friday night inside Emerson Gymnasium.

Brickley poured in her career-high 33 points on 14-for-19 shooting, which included a 5-for-6 performance at the free throw line, and also hauled in a game-high 14 rebounds to pace the Lyons. Brickley’s 33 points against the Tigers tonight ranks third all-time in a single game in program history. Terri Salinetti ’92 holds the school record with 35 points against Wesleyan on January 25, 1992, while current volunteer assistant coach Bri Smith ’09 ranks second with 34 points, which occurred on December 7, 2005 versus Salem State.

Wheaton junior forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) posted 17 points, eight rebounds, a career-high six blocks, two assists and one steal. Senior guard Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) collected four points, a game-high eight assists, three points and one steal, while classmate Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary’s) registered six points, five rebounds, four assists and two swipes.

Colorado College had three student-athletes in double-figures highlight by junior forward Danielle Davis (Boxford, Mass.) who notched a team-high 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting, four rebounds, three assists and one steal. First-year guard Malia Shappell (Lakewood, Colo.) contributed 14 points, five boards, and a pair of blocks, assists and steals, while sophomore forward Korbyn Ukasick (Windsor, Colo.) chipped in with 11 points and three rebounds.

The Lyons shot 48.5-percent (32-for-66) from the field, 31.3-percent (5-for-16) from beyond the arc, 78.9-percent (15-for-19) at the free throw line, assisted on 22 made baskets and won the rebounding matchup 47-33. Wheaton also held a 52-32 differential in points in the paint and a 19-14 margin in bench points. Colorado College tallied a slight 19-17 edge in points off of turnovers.

Tied 12-12 at the 15:48 mark of the contest, Wheaton used a 33-18 run to close out the remainder of the half and take a 45-30 advantage into the break. Brickley led the charge with 12 points, which included two old-fashioned three-point plays, and Shoemaker turned in eight points to aid the offense. The Lyons also received five points from junior guard Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell), a trey by Ferrari, a layup from first-year Oppie Morris (Ware, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) and another three-point by classmate Emily Cuthbertson (Hudson, N.H./New Hampton School) that capped the run with 52-seconds left to go in the stanza.

Wheaton led by as many as 28 points with 7:09 remaining in the final half of play. Colorado College kept the game under ten points until the 3:01 mark of the first stanza when Brickley slipped by her defender and canned Pierce’s feed home for her final points of the opening 20 minutes of action.

Wheaton (4-0) hosts Tufts University on Monday, December 1 inside Emerson Gymnasium at 7 p.m. The Lyons, who are receiving votes in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today Division III Preseason Poll, will face a Tufts University that is coming off of a NCAA Tournament Final Four appearance from a season ago next month. Colorado College (0-3) continues its East Coast swing with a non-conference game against Bridgewater State University tomorrow at 6 p.m.

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


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.

Mass. College Hoops: Wheaton Tops Coast Guard, Improves To 17-4 (VIDEO)

By Matt Noonan 

The Wheaton College women’s basketball team improved to 17-4 overall and 12-4 in NEWMAC play as they defeated Coast Guard Academy, 77-66. The win marks the second time in three seasons that the Lyons have swept the season series.

Abbie Brickley and Kiley Shoemaker combined for 50 points and 21 rebounds, while Rebecca Arnone and Kenzie Kuhn each netted 11 points.

The Lyons will return to action on Saturday, February 8 when they travel to WPI, their first of three road contests.

After the game concluded, Wheaton College’s sports information department caught up with Brickley and head coach Melissa Hodgdon to chat about the win. The video is from the Lyons’ YouTube channel.

Mass. College Hoops: Brickley, Shoemaker Lead Wheaton Past Emerson


Courtesy of the Wheaton College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the women’s game, which saw Abbie Brickley and Kiley Shoemaker combine for 32 points as the Lyons defeated Emerson College in Boston:

BOSTON, Mass. – The Wheaton College women’s basketball team outscored Emerson by 15 points in the second half en route to a 77-58 victory in a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup on the road.

Lyons’ junior forward Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) led all scorers with 18 points, six rebounds and a game-high five assists. Sophomore forward Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) registered 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Junior guard Laura Pierce (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) collected 13 points, four assists and classmate Kirsten Ferrari (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary’s) added ten points, three rebounds and four assists.

Sophomore guard Rebecca Arnone (Litchfield, N.H./Campbell) tallied three points, hauled in eight rebounds and dished out four assists. Senior forward Lauren McClelland (Scituate, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) chipped in with six points, five rebounds and one assist in 17 minutes off the bench. Arnone has now drained at least one 3-pointer in 11-straight contests, while Brickley has recorded double digit points in ten consecutive contests.

Emerson junior forward Kristin Brice (Indiana, Penn./Indiana Area Senior) had 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field and brought down 12 rebounds to pace the hosts. Sophomore guard Janissa Delzo (Middlesex, N.J./Wardlaw-Hartridge) posted 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting and freshman guard Emily Cameron (Culver City, Calif./University) compiled 11 points, five assists and three rebounds.

Leading 28-24 at the break, Wheaton came out firing in the second half using a 22-9 run to jump out to a 17-point cushion (50-33) in the opening 6:06 of action in the stanza. During the run, Brickley scored eight points, Shoemaker logged six, Ferrari had five and Pierce swished a three-pointer to get the spurt going at the 19:50 mark. The Lyons shot 9-for-12 from the field, grabbed seven rebounds and and assisted on seven of their baskets.

Wheaton’s gap ballooned to as many as 23 with 9:33 remaining in the game as Shoemaker finished a layup off a pass from junior guard Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs). The Blue and White held a 36-22 advantage in the paint including a 28-12 differential in the second half alone. Both teams tied in bench points at 19-19, but Wheaton outscored Emerson 11-0 off turnovers and won the rebounding matchup, 43-40.

The Lyons (15-4, 10-4 NEWMAC), who committed a season-low nine turnovers in the win, host Clark University this Saturday at 1 p.m. Emerson (7-11, 3-10 NEWMAC) welcomes Springfield to its campus on Saturday at 1 p.m.