CHESTNUT HILL, MA - Senior forward Kayla Drescher (Wallingford, CT) scored a career-high 20 points and added 11 rebounds for the Wheelock College women's basketball team in a 77-69 loss to visiting Southern Vermont College this afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference contest on Brunelli Court at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. The Wildcats fall to 0-15 overall, including 0-9 in NECC play, while the Mountaineers improve to 5-10 and 4-4.
Drescher recorded her second double-double of the season in addition to three assists, three steals and three blocks for the Wildcats. Junior forward Keneisha Milton (Boston, MA) registered her fifth double-double of the season with 19 points on 8-14 shooting and 13 rebounds, while coming up with a pair of steals. Senior guard Maya Spratling (Dorchester, MA) ended the afternoon with a season-high 14 points and added four rebounds and two steals off the bench, while senior center Jo Gomes (Boston, MA/Newton Country Day School) just missed her first career double-double with nine points and nine rebounds and also came up with a blocked shot. Junior guard Kailah Simon (Norwalk, CT) led all playmakers with a personal-high eight assists to go with two points, five rebounds and three steals.
Sophomore forward Kourtney Hewitt (Bennington, VT) converted a pair of free throws to cap an 11-3 run for a 52-51 edge at the 9:35 mark of the second half to give the Mountaineers their first lead since the 15:47 mark of the first half. Hewitt scored seven points during the run. The teams were later tied at 57-57 with 6:34 to play in the second stanza, before Southern Vermont seized control of the contest with eight straight points in a matter of 84 seconds to take a 65-57 advantage. The Mountaineers later maintained a 70-63 cushion with 2:59 showing in the second half, before a layup from Spratling and a deep jump shot from sophomore guard Jessica Ramsey (Milford, MA) pulled the home team to within 70-67 with 1:53 remaining in the contest. It would be as close as the Wildcats would get the rest of the way as Southern Vermont led by as many as 10 before closing out the victory.
The Mountaineers opened the game by scoring six of the first seven points, before Wheelock shot back with a 19-6 stretch, fueled by 11 points from Drescher, to take a 20-12 margin with 9:25 to go in the opening half. Senior guard Joa Claircius (Clermont, FL) netted the game's next six points to cut the deficit to 22-18 for Southern Vermont with 5:45 to play in the half. The Wildcats countered with an 8-3 burst to take their largest lead of the afternoon at 30-21 with 2:19 left in the period. Sophomore guard Ashliy Veliz (Glendale, CA) later canned a jumper with 20 ticks left in the half to pull the visitors to within 32-28, before Wheelock took a 34-28 lead into the intermission.
The Mountaineers were hot to begin the second session, netting seven of the first eight points to knot the contest at 35-35 just three minutes into the half. The teams traded layups to keep the score tied at 37-37, before Wheelock went on an 11-4 burst, led by seven points from Milton to take a 48-41 lead with 11:32 left in the game.
Claircius led all scorers with 29 points and was 10-19 from the field. She added seven rebounds and a game-high six steals to her day for Southern Vermont, while Hewitt finished with 16 points on 5-7 from the floor and a perfect 6-6 from the line in addition to grabbing seven boards, coming up with a steal and blocking a shot. Veliz posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds to go with two steals and a block and senior guard Sherrita Hall (Temple Hill, MD) chipped in with 11 points, three rebounds, four assists and a steal.
Wheelock will be in action again on Tuesday, January 24 when it hosts NECC rival Lesley University at 7:30 p.m. on Brunelli Court, while the Mountaineers head to Chicopee, MA on the same night to play Elms College at 7:00 p.m.