Wellesley Slips Past Women's Basketball, 40-36, In Defensive Battle
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Leslie Leong (Sacramento, Calif.) and sophomore Chelsi Scott (Portland, Mich.) combined for 14 second-half points as visiting Wellesley College rallied for a 40-36 victory over Babson College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's basketball action on Wednesday night at Staake Gymnasium.
Wellesley has now won four of its last five games to move to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the league, while Babson has dropped two straight contests to fall to 1-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
Leong and Scott, along with senior Katie Shulenberger (Ashland, Ore.) and junior Natalie Anderson (Bellevue, Wash.), all notched eight points on the night for the Blue. First-year Ailis Hanley (Cranston, R.I.) pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, while Leong chipped in with three assists and three steals.
Juniors Briana Hunt (Newton, Mass.) and Lindsey Roche (Arlington, Mass.) each scored five points to lead the Beavers, who had 11 different players break into the scoring column. Sophomore Megan Otto (Scituate, Mass.) grabbed a game-high 11 boards, while classmates Kristen Ferola (Amherst, Mass.) and Linnett Graber (Roseland, N.J.) both had two assists.
Babson trailed only once over the opening 20 minutes of action, building its biggest lead of the game at 18-9 following a three-pointer from first-year Gena Restiano (Revere, Mass.) and a layup from Ferola with 5:30 left in the half. The Beavers held Wellesley to just 4-of-20 from the field in the opening stanza, while forcing 16 turnovers, to take an 18-13 edge into the locker room.
The Blue outscored Babson 10-4 over the opening eight and a half minutes of the second half and took its first lead since the opening minutes of the game at 23-22 on a jump shot by Morgyne Weaver (Oklahoma City, Okla.) with 11:29 to go in the contest. First-year McKenna Cudgma (Hingham, Mass.) and classmate Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.) countered with back-to-back hoops, helping the Beavers regain a 26-23 edge with 10:29 left.
Wellesley took the lead for good at 35-33 on a jumper by Leong with 3:50 to go in the game, and Shulenberger followed with a putback to give the Blue a four point ege with 3:02 remaining. Leong then buried three free throws in the final minute to secure the victory.
The Beavers, who shot just 26.9 percent (14-for-52) on the night, held a 44-37 advantage on the glass. Wellesley finished the game at 30.6 percent (15-for-49) from the floor, but outscored the Green and White 20-14 in the paint.
Both teams will return to action on Saturday with Babson hosting WPI at 1 p.m., and Wellesley hosting Smith at 2 p.m.