BOSTON, Mass. – The Wheelock College women's basketball team used a big second quarter to secure a 72-63 victory over visiting Daniel Webster College in New England Collegiate Conference play. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 12-11 and 10-6 in the NECC while the Eagles fall to 8-16 and 6-11 in the conference.
Early on there were fireworks as both teams came out of the gate with red hot shooting. Wheelock built a 12-5 advantage on a pair of 3-pointers from senior Brianna Hochwarter (Attleboro, Mass.) and a pair of lay-ins by classmate Michelle Woods (Wilmington, Mass.). Still, Daniel Webster would fight back with trifectas from senior Kayla Free (Quincy, Mass.), junior Escarlin Reynoso (Lawrence, Mass.), and classmate Amanda Gendron (Mount Vernon, N.H.) to take a slim 14-12 edge. The teams see-sawed back-and-forth from there but it was the home team who took the slight 20-18 advantage into the next quarter.
In the second period, Wheelock began to take control with a 14-4 run that ended when a jumper by sophomore Katie Walsh (East Islip, N.Y.) extended their lead to 34-22. Free stopped the bleeding by draining a shot from downtown but the home team would close the half on a 9-5 spurt that had them leading 43-29 heading into the break.
The Wildcats maintained a comfortable advantage from the majority of the third quarter. Still, junior Natasha Santana (Lawrence, Mass.) cut their deficit back down to single-digits heading into the final period. The Eagles continued to chip away and a Santana lay-in had the visitors within six at the 2:51 mark and a pair of shots at the charity stripe by Free had it down to 68-63 with 38 seconds remaining. However, Hochwarter would hit four freebies on back-to-back possessions to seal the 72-63 victory for the home squad.
Wheelock was led by Hochwarter who poured in 22 points including four shots from beyond the arc. Walsh contributed a huge double-double with 20 points and a game-high 18 rebounds including eight on the offensive class. Woods rounded out the double-figure scorers by registering a double-double of her own with 17 points and 11 caroms. Hochwarter also led the squad with five assists and four steals.
The Eagles were led by Free who had a game-high 24 points and recorded a double-double with a team-best 10 rebounds. Sanatana chipped in 12 points while Gendron added 10. Free also had a game-high six assists while Gendron led her squad with four steals.
Wheelock returns to action on Thursday when they host Elms College at 8:30 p.m. in NECC action. Daniel Webster hosts Becker College for 5:30 p.m. contest.