NORTON, MA--- The fourth-seeded Wheaton College women's basketball team received a balanced scoring effort and won its first Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament game since 1992 behind a 63-51 decision in the first round over fifth seeded Suffolk University on Wednesday evening in Emerson Gymnasium. Suffolk finished its season at 18-10.
Suffolk freshman Stephanie Zito (Guilford, CT/Guilford) converted a three-point play with 30 seconds gone for the game's first points, but the Lyons responded with the next 13 over 3:35. Senior Casey Sorbara (Port Chester, NY/Trinity Catholic) tallied the first five before dishing off on the first of two lay-ups junior Becky Aitchison (Norwalk, CT/Trinity Catholic) had during the run. Sophomore Krystin Hickey (Manchester, NH/New Hampton School) added two hoops as the Lyons shot 6-of-7 in the stretch.
The contest slowed down after Wheaton forged ahead, 18-7 at 14:12. The teams combined to go 1-of-17 during a 6:03 stretch, with Suffolk junior Stephanie Morrissey's (Abington, MA/Tabor Academy) hoop at 11:58 standing as the lone basket in that time. Sophomore teammate Emily Duquette (Burrillville, RI/Burrillville) later nailed a jumper to make it 18-12, but the Blue and White saw a 6:30 scoring drought end when senior Kim McCormack (Milton, MA/Milton) hit a pair of free throws with 7:41 left to start a 7-0 run, and Hickey's lay-up at 6:24 ended Wheaton's 7:47 stretch without a hoop.
The Lyons finished the half leading, 32-18, after shooting 40.6 percent and committing only three turnovers. The Rams turned in a 30.8 percent performance and hit only 2-of-7 free throw tries.
Wheaton twice went up by 17 early in the second half, last when Sorbara's driving lay-up made it 37-20 at 17:14. Suffolk relied upon scoring from three different players during a 7-0 run that brought the Rams within 37-27, and junior Katlyn Klecha's (Fairfield, CT/Fairfield Warde) three-point play made it 44-36 with 9:48 left.
However, the visitors came no closer, as Wheaton went on a 14-3 run behind scoring from five players, and senior Samara Audet's (Derry, NH/Trinity) long jumper capped the stretch to give the Lyons their largest lead of the night at 58-39.
Six different players scored seven-plus points for the Lyons, as Hickey led the charge with 14 points, while Aitchison turned in nine points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals. McCormack notched eight points and 12 caroms, while Sorbara had seven points, seven assists and three steals. Audet and freshman Jenny Champney (Bedford, MA/Bedford) each tallied eight points.
Zito finished with 11 points, as the Rams got back into the game by shooting 50.0 percent in the second half. Senior Sarah Gregory (Fall River, MA/B.M.C. Durfee) added eight points and seven rebounds, while classmate Jenn Fogg (Stonington, CT/Stonington) had nine rebounds and two blocks.
Story Courtesy of Wheaton Sports Information