CHESTNUT HILL, MA - The Wheelock College women's basketball team held an opponent to fewer than 50 points for the third straight contest on Thursday, and the Wildcats snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 52-38 victory over Bay Path College during a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) contest at Pine Manor College's Brunelli Court.
Wheelock improved to 4-13 overall and 3-7 in the league, while the visitors are 0-20 and 0-12. The Wildcats, who won the fifth straight series meeting and for the ninth time in the last 13 match-ups with Bay Path, entered the night just half a game out of the final play-off spot.
Wheelock sophomore Keneisha Milton (Boston, MA/Wayland) broke her own school record by hauling in 23 rebounds while adding 14 points and three steals for her eighth double-double this season. Junior Kayla Drescher (Wallingford, CT/Mark T. Sheehan) had eight rebounds, a career-high six steals and set a school mark with five blocked shots. The hosts swatted seven shots and held a 54-40 rebounding edge, including 23-11 on the offensive glass.
Junior Maya Spratling (Dorchester, MA/Cathedral) notched 11 points, eight rebounds and three steals, and senior Sharrell Brown (Brooklyn, NY/Progress) knocked down three three-pointers for 11 points. Sophomores Sarah McCaffrey (East Taunton, MA/Taunton) and Taylor Rogers (Essex, MA/Manchester Essex Regional) each recorded six points.
Freshman Justine Hook (Berwick, PA/Columbia-Montour Area Vo-Tech) led Bay Path with 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals, while classmate Mercedes Griffith (Malden, MA/Northeast Metro Tech) went 3-for-5 from three while totaling 11 points and three steals. Senior Sam Hahn (Hadley, MA/Hopkins Academy) added eight rebounds.
Wheelock turned an early 2-0 deficit into an 11-point lead behind 13 straight points by 10:27 of the opening half. Five different players scored by that juncture, with McCaffrey's jumper capping the run. Brown hit a jumper at 6:19 to make it 19-7 before Bay Path rallied, using a 13-2 run to pull within 21-20 on Griffith's three-pointer at 1:43. Hook scored six points in the run. Rogers knocked down a pair of threes in the final 1:22 of the stanza, including just before the buzzer, to provide the host Wildcats a 27-22 halftime edge.
Hahn's bucket 3:31 into the second period drew the visitors within 27-24, but that was as close as they would get to knotting the contest. Wheelock pushed its advantage to 38-27 thanks to an 11-3 run during which Spratling had five points and Milton four, and the hosts never again led by fewer than nine. The Wildcats pushed their lead to as many as 16 prior to the final horn.
Wheelock is back in action on Tuesday at Newbury College at 6 p.m.