Mount Holyoke Defeats Wheaton, 51-49

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SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (Jan. 5, 2013) – In a battle of the Lyons, Mount Holyoke College came out victorious as it defeated Wheaton College by a score of 51-49 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Saturday afternoon. With the victory, MHC improves to 3-7 overall and is now 1-4 in conference play. The Lyons of Wheaton slip to 5-6 and 2-3 in the NEWMAC.

In a particularly low-scoring first half, Mount Holyoke came out with the advantage, taking a 24-23 lead into the intermission. Wheaton quickly pulled momentum in their favor within the first 30 seconds of the half as sophomore Kenzie Kuhn (Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) drained a three-pointer to make it a two-point advantage (26-24) for the visitors.

MHC began to pull away as a layup by senior guard Angelica Pascual (Lawrence, Mass./Proctor Academy (N.H.) gave the home side a four-point lead (33-29) with 17:45 to play. Back-to-back free throws from first year Kiley Shoemaker (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) gave Wheaton a 34-33 edge, but Mount Holyoke responded as sophomore forward Amber Legare (Chicopee, Mass./Chicopee Comprehensive) pushed the Lyons ahead by a 37-34 margin.

A jumper by Pascual at 9:56 made it a 45-41 game for MHC, but Kuhn responded for Wheaton to make it 45-43.  The score remained locked for over five minutes before Wheaton sophomore Abbie Brickley (Sandy, Utah/Skyline) floated in a layup off a pass from junior Melissa McLaughlin (Spindale, N.C./R-S Central) to tie it at 45-all.

Mount Holyoke responded with 2:59 remaining as first year Genelle Green (Windsor, Conn./Miss Porter's School) nailed a key three-pointer. Brickley closed the gap less than a minute later with another layup to make it 48-47, but MHC sophomore Kate Karraker (Morgantown, W.V./Taft School (Conn.) came up with a huge shot from beyond the arc to give the home team a 51-47 lead with 47 seconds remaining.

Brickley dropped in another shot with 11 seconds to play to cut the lead to two (51-49), but solid defense and a last-second missed shot by the visitors, secured Mount Holyoke's first league win of the season.

Karraker led all scorers in the game with 17 points, going 5-of-7 from three-point range and 6-of-10 overall from the field. She also added three assists. Pascual finished with 14 points and is now just nine shy of 1,000 for her career.

MHC also saw Legare and Green finish with 10 points apiece. Legare added four assists and a game-best four steals, while Green also chipped in with 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals.

For Wheaton, Brickley recorded 10 points with four rebounds. She went 5-of-9 from the floor. Shoemaker added nine points and a game-best 11 boards with three blocks, while McLaughlin added six points, four caroms and a game-best five assists.

Mount Holyoke concludes its three-game homestand on Tuesday when it hosts conference-foe, Wellesley at 7pm at the Mildred S. Howard Gymnasium. Wheaton is also in action on Tuesday, hosting league-rival Springfield for a 7pm tilt.

Photo courtesy of Richard Orr Sports Photography.