CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The Wheelock College women's basketball team edged visiting Lyndon 56-50 in the regular season opener for both squads. The Wildcats improve to 1-0 on the season while the Hornets fall to 0-1.
Wheelock was led by the 2013-14 New England Collegiate Conference Rookie of the Year Michelle Woods, who scored 24 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and dished out four assists to go with two steals and one block.
In the first half, Woods paced the home squad with 16 points as the Wildcats led 30-24 at the break. Solid team defense held the Hornets to 7-of-27 (25.9%) shooting from the field and forced 11 turnovers.
In the second half, the contest heated up as Wheelock looked to pull away. Two free throws by junior forward Kelsey Becker staked the Wildcats to their largest lead of the game, 40-30, with 15:05 on the clock. However, Lyndon began to chip away with about eight minutes remaining and used an 8-0 spurt to knot the game at 47-47.
After a jumper from sophomore guard Emily Doyle gave Wheelock the lead once more, a free throw cut the visitors' deficit to one. That set the stage for the biggest shot of the night. With the shot clock winding down, rookie guard Emma Silver found sophomore guard Jaime Grzych open on the right wing.
Grzych stepped into her shot and nailed a 3-pointer to extend the Wildcats lead to 52-48 with 2:12 remaining as the crowd erupted. On the next Wheelock possession, Grzych finished a tough lay-up in the line to make it a six point edge and then the two teams traded a pair of free throws for the final tally of 56-50.
Grzych scored the Wildcats final seven points as she finished the contest with nine points, three steals, two rebounds, and an assist. Doyle chipped in nine points and six boards while sophomore guard Katie Alsip added eight points and a game-high 10 caroms.
The Hornets were led by freshman center Mikayla Hodge (Newbury, Vt.) who scored 13 points and tied for the team lead with seven rebounds. Senior guard Emily Gray (Quincy, Mass.) also reached double-figures with 11 points and added four assists.
Lyndon returns home for a matchup with Plymouth State on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.