CHESTNUT HILL, MA – Junior forward Randi Davis (Wilmington, MA) scored five of her career-high 24 points to close out the game and give the Wheelock College women's basketball team a 74-69 overtime victory over visiting Bay Path College this afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference play at Brunelli Court on the campus of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA. The Wildcats improve to 2-15 overall and 2-8 in league play, while Bay Path falls to 9-7 and 6-4.
Wheelock's point and assist (21) numbers for the game rank as the second-highest totals in school history. The team also shot 58.3% (7-12) from beyond the three-point line.
Sophomore guard Toni Alexander (Enfield, CT) converted the back end of a pair of free throws to pull Bay Path even at 69-69 with 31 seconds remaining in overtime, before Davis took over for the Wildcats, starting with a three-point play on a layup and a free throw to give the home team a 72-69 margin with 22 seconds left in the contest. Following a missed three-pointer from Bay Path, Davis was fouled and made two more free throws to give Wheelock a five-point cushion and ice the game with 10 seconds left.
The Wildcats opened the contest with a 10-4 lead at the 14:14 mark of the first half. Freshman forward Kelsey Becker (Hanover, MA) later made a layup to give Wheelock its largest lead of the half at 17-8 with 12:49 showing in the first half. Bay Path answered with nine unanswered points, including five points from sophomore guard Katherine Chabot (Brookfield, MA), to tie the contest at 17-17 with 9:10 left in the initial period. The teams played within four points of each other and traded the lead four times before Bay Path senior guard Brittney Alexander (Enfield, CT) made a layup with a second to go in the half to cut the deficit to 33-31 heading into the intermission.
Davis scored the first points of the second half with a three-pointer to spark a 13-4 run for Wheelock and give it a 46-35 advantage with 15:58 to play in the second stanza. Davis netted 11 points during the stretch. Bay Path regrouped to put together a 14-3 burst over the next seven minutes, fueled by seven points from Chabot and six from junior forward Kayla Skiffington (East Longmeadow, MA), to knot the score at 49-49 with 9:12 remaining in the half. The teams traded field goals to keep the score tied at 51, before Skiffington scored a pair of layups to give Bay Path its largest lead of the afternoon at 55-51 with 6:23 to go in the period. The visitors maintained a four-point cushion at 58-54 with five minutes left, but senior guard Sarah McCaffrey (East Taunton, MA) later capped a string of six straight points with a jumper to give Wheelock a 60-58 margin with 1:39 to go in the second half. Skiffington and Chabot answered with back-to-back layups for Bay Path to give it a 62-60 lead with 62 seconds left in the half, but senior forward Keneisha Milton (Boston, MA/Wayland HS) scored the final points in regulation with a pair of free throws coming with 37 ticks left on the clock to tie the score at 62-all for Wheelock.
Toni Alexander later drained a jumper for Bay Path to give it a 66-64 lead with 1:50 left in the overtime, but junior guard Jessica Ramsey (Milford, MA) knocked down a three-pointer just 16 seconds later to give Wheelock a one-point edge. Milton converted a layup to push the Wildcats' lead to 69-66 with a minute to play in the game, but Skiffington swished a pair of free throws before Alexander tied the game at 69.
Davis finished 9-13 from the floor, including 3-4 from three-point range and added eight rebounds and an assist, while committing just one turnover and one foul in 42 minutes of play for Wheelock. Milton scored 15 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, handed out seven assists and came up with eight steals, while McCaffrey dropped in 12 points on 5-8 from the field to go with four rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. Sophomore point guard Cathryn Fernandes (Hudson, NH) matched the school record for assists for the third time this season with nine and added three points, three steals and a rebound.
Skiffington led all scorers with 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for a double-double in addition to three assists, three steals and a blocked shot for Bay Path. Chabot contributed with 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, four steals and a pair of blocks, while junior guard Justine Hook (Berwick, PA) chipped in with 12 points, four boards, two steals and two assists.
Wheelock will be in action again on Tuesday, January 29 when it heads to Weston, MA to take on NECC foe Regis College at 7:00 p.m., while Bay Path hosts Elms College on the same night at 7:00 p.m.