CHESTNUT HILL, MA - Junior forward Keneisha Milton (Boston, MA) and junior guard Kailah Simon (Norwalk, CT) each registered career-highs in points with 23 and 12, respectively, for the Wheelock College women's basketball team tonight in a 53-50 loss to visiting Becker College in a New England Collegiate Conference contest at Brunelli Court on the campus of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. The Wildcats fall to 0-14 overall and 0-8 in league play, while the Hawks improve to 3-11 and 3-5.
Milton ended the night with a career-high 23 points and 15 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season and added three steals and a pair of assists for Wheelock. Simon was 5-9 from the floor to go with four rebounds, four steals and an assist, while senior forward Kayla Drescher (Wallingford, CT) contributed with six points, nine rebounds, a game-high five assists, two blocks and a steal.
Sophomore guard Chelsea Joubert (Westborough, MA) knocked down a pair of free throws at the 7:07 mark of the second half to give the visitors their first lead of the night at 39-38. Senior guard Kristina Desnoyers (Adams, MA) followed with a layup following a steal for the Hawks, before Joubert drained a three-pointer, all in the span of 50 seconds, to give them a 44-38 margin with 6:17 to play in the game as part of a 12-0 run. Becker later maintained a 52-46 cushion with 2:45 remaining in the contest, but a pair of free throws from Drescher and a made layup from Milton pulled Wheelock to within 52-50 with 33 ticks left on the second half clock. That would be as close as the home team would get as the Hawks held on for the victory.
The Wildcats held a 7-4 margin with 15:23 to play in the first half, before outscoring Becker, 16-6, over the next eight-plus minutes to take their largest lead of the night at 23-10 with just over seven minutes to go in the opening half. The Hawks responded with eight straight points, including five from Joubert, to close the deficit to 23-18 with 1:53 left in the half. Wheelock took a 25-19 advantage into halftime, led by 11 of Simon's career-high 12 points.
The Wildcats later increased their lead to 29-21 with 16:04 showing in the second stanza, but Becker came back with six unanswered points, capped by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Haley Ooms (Valatie, NY), to bring the Hawks to within 29-27 with 14:21 to play in the game. A made free throw from Desnoyers later made it a one-point game at 33-32 with 10:37 to go in the contest, but Wheelock pushed its lead to 38-33, following a Milton layup with 8:19 on the second half clock.
Joubert was 8-10 from the line and added four steals, two rebounds and an assist for Becker, while Ooms finished with 17 points, six boards, four assists and a steal. Sophomore forward Tatiana Mojica (Worcester, MA) fell just short of a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds in addition to a game-high five steals.
The Wildcats will be in action again on Saturday, January 21 when they host NECC rival Southern Vermont College at 1:00 p.m. on Brunelli Court, while the Hawks travel to Cambridge, MA on the same day for a 5:00 p.m. tip-off vs. Lesley University at Buckingham, Browne and Nichols Gymnasium.