Wheaton on board in NEWMAC race

More news about: Wheaton (Mass.)
Kiley Shoemaker has no qualms about going up to get a rebound.
Wheaton (Mass.) athletics photo

Wheaton (Mass.) senior Kiley Shoemaker was taught numerous ways to pull down a rebound.

The greatest advice she received was from an AAU coach that told Shoemaker to think ‘every rebound is mine.’

“Once I learned to not get too deep under the hoop and to get in position as well as believe every rebound could be mine,” said Shoemaker, “I started rebounding better and more confidently.”

Shoemaker’s confidence in the paint has improved as a member of the Lyons by erasing a 28-year-old rebounding record last month, which was established by Allison Yelle, who ended her four-year career with 849 caroms. Jennifer Ladry, Allyson Aube and Abbie Brickley came close to erasing the mark, but it was Shoemaker, who entered the current season ranked eighth in program history, that tallied 191 rebounds to bump her total to 894.

“Coach (Melissa Hodgdon) told me after the game that I had broken the record,” said Shoemaker. “It was special, but it’s more special that I am still playing and am able to for the next few weeks.”

Shoemaker and the Lyons have fewer than 10 games remaining and hope to conclude their campaign with a NEWMAC tournament crown, along with an invitation to the Division III NCAA Tournament. Wheaton came within one game of the ‘big dance’ last season, but fell to rival Babson in the conference finals. 

“Last year’s setback to Babson was certainly upsetting and the team knew how hard we would have to work this year to get back in that position,” said Shoemaker, who is averaging 9.6 rebounds per game.

“Our ultimate motivation for this season and every season is to get better, and we keep working hard every day. Hopefully we will have an opportunity to get back to the championship game (later this month).”

With Shoemaker in the lineup, Wheaton has been competitive, tallying 14 wins, including seven conference victories. Individually, she has eclipsed the 1,000-point mark, while establishing a new program record for blocks with 275.

Said Hodgdon, “Kiley has been a leader by her actions every day since she stepped on campus. She bleeds blue and white, and cares about this program.”

While Hodgdon has helped Shoemaker elevate her game since her initial appearance with the Lyons during the 2012-13 school year, it was a former teammate – Abbie Brickley – that made the transition from high school to college a smooth one.

“Abbie Brickley really took me under her wing that first year and show me the ropes of college basketball,” said Shoemaker. “I knew we would be playing together for three years, so having a fellow post player teach me the system was really helpful and made that first year enjoyable.”   

With assistance from Brickley, Shoemaker became a cornerstone of the program, providing a difficult scout for opposing teams. She concluded her initial season with 23 starts, but appeared in all 25 games, while averaging 7.2 points and 7.2 rebounds. She registered a pair of double-doubles, while tallying double-figures five times that season, and also had 10 or more rebounds in six games, including five straight from Dec. 29, 2012 to Jan. 12, 2013.

“I had no idea that I would be so successful at Wheaton,” said Shoemaker. “I certainly couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches the past four years. To say I didn’t feel accomplished (establishing a new rebounding record) would be a lie, but that was not my focus from day one on campus.” 

Shoemaker, who is majoring in psychology and minoring in education, will graduate this May as one of the more decorated players in program history. Her name will be atop multiple statistical categories – not just rebounds and blocks – but free throw and field goal percentages, too. She hopes to continue her career beyond Wheaton by playing professionally overseas.  

“I am considering playing overseas after graduation this spring, but whether or that works out, my hope is to stay involved with the sport in some way,” said Shoemaker.

Said Hodgdon, “She has the type of work ethic that she will be able to do whatever it is she sets her mind to, and whoever she is with she will make them better.”

Northeast regional clippings

Senior Trevon Butler and Raheem Anderson led the Husson men’s basketball team to a season sweep of Colby-Sawyer on Saturday as the Eagles defeated the Chargers, 88-77. With the win, the Eagles improve to 14-4 overall and 11-1 in North Atlantic Conference play. Husson and Colby-Sawyer met in last year’s conference tournament final … Tufts men’s basketball provided head coach Bob Sheldon with his 400th win with the Jumbos as the Powder Blue and White defeated Newbury on the road by a score of 99-78. According to the release, Sheldon becomes the 41st active coach in NCAA Division III to reach 400 victories … WPI’s Chris Bartley recorded his 291st career victory with the Engineers – the most wins by a head coach in program history – as the Engineers defeated Coast Guard, 78-58 … Tufts sophomore Melissa Baptista earned her initial New England Small College Athletic Conference honor on Monday by being named the Women’s Basketball Player of the Week. Baptista scored a season-high 25 points in her team’s win against Bates … The WPI women’s basketball team continues to receive votes in the D3hoops.com poll. This is the second straight week the Engineers have received votes with last week being the first time in program history … Kaitlyn LaBonte netted a career-high 28 points last week to lift Western Connecticut past Rhode Island, 78-64. LaBonte ended the contest 8-of-14 from the field, including 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. Western Connecticut is in a two-way tie for first place with Eastern Connecticut in the Little East Conference. 

Matt Noonan

Matt Noonan is the head editor and founder of NoontimeSports.com, a New England Division III college sports blog that covers basketball, football and lacrosse. Noonan's work has been featured on ESPN.com, BostonLax.net, VentureFizz.com and Patch.com, and has appeared in the Boston Globe, along with other digital and print outlets. No stranger to Division III, Noonan spent time as an Athletics Communications Assistant and Sports Information Assistant at MIT, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Wheaton College, and was recently an Associate Producer at Lax Sports Network where he oversaw a trio of weekly shows, while assisting producers, on-air talent, production assistants and directors with daily programming. Noonan graduated from Wheaton College in May 2010 -- Go Lyons! -- and currently resides in Somerville, Massachusetts.