Wheaton 62    Tufts 59

At Norton, MA
Saturday, December 3, 2005

Game Statistics

NORTON -- With just over a second showing on the clock and the score tied at 59, sophomore Becky Aitchison (Norwalk, CT) took an inbounds pass and launched a three-point shot from the right sideline that found the bottom of the net as time expired, giving the Wheaton College women's basketball team a dramatic 62-59 win over Tufts University Saturday afternoon at Emerson Gymnasium. Wheaton is now 5-1 for the first time since the 1995-96 season, while the Jumbos suffered their first loss and slip to 3-1 overall.

The Lyons got on the board first at 19:20, as Aitchison wrestled the ball from the opposing point guard's grasp and deposited a quick two on the ensuing breakaway. The teams traded baskets for most of the first half, with Wheaton managing to hold a slim lead throughout. After freshman Bri Smith (Westford, MA) hit a three-pointer that gave the hosts a 17-14 edge with 7:29 to play, the Jumbos rattled off six straight points, four of which came via free throws by freshman Kimberly Moynihan (West Hartford, CT), for their first lead of the game. Wheaton freshman Krystin Hickey (Manchester, NH) scored the next four points to swing the lead back to the hosts. Tufts eventually hit the final basket of the half for a slim 25-24 lead at the break.

Wheaton began the second half firing on all cylinders, as the Lyons used a 10-0 run over the first 3:35 for a 34-25 advantage. Trailing by as many as 10 points midway through the half, the Jumbos began to cut into their deficit and eventually got the score to 57-55 on junior Laura Jasinski's (Leverett, MA) free throw with one minute to play. After a pair of missed freebies by Tufts, the Lyons gained possession with 42 seconds left. Following a missed jumper, junior Kim McCormack (Milton, MA) grabbed an offensive rebound and drew a foul with 16.1 showing on the clock. McCormack nailed both of her shots, but the Jumbos ran the floor quickly and junior Marilyn Duffy-Cabana (Amesbury, MA) hit a lay-up with seven seconds left, putting the score at 59-57 in favor of the hosts.

The ensuing inbounds pass went to Hickey, but the Tufts defenders were able to force a jump ball and regain possession in the waning seconds. Jasinski then knotted the score with an open jumper from the free throw line with four ticks left. Wheaton drove the ball to midcourt and called a timeout with 1.2 seconds to go. Inbounding the ball near the Tufts bench, McCormack found Aitchison streaking down the near sideline for the thrilling finish.

Hickey led all scorers with 21 points while McCormack posted a double-double with 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Aitchison chipped in 10 points while recording a career-best six steals, and Smith netted 10 to round out the double-figure scoring. As a team, the Lyons were able to capitalize on the Jumbos miscues, holding a 23-14 edge in points off turnovers.

Tufts was led by sophomore Jenna Gomez's (Norfolk, MA) 16 points, 15 boards and four steals, while Jasinski was the Jumbos' only other double-figure scorer with 12.