Wellesley Basketball Can’t Keep Pace With Messiah in Florida Finale

Sophomore Emily Kopp scored a team-high 10 points for Wellesley, shooting 5-for-8 from the floor with six rebounds (Julia Monaco).
Sophomore Emily Kopp scored a team-high 10 points for Wellesley, shooting 5-for-8 from the floor with six rebounds (Julia Monaco).

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Messiah College outscored Wellesley College basketball 20-6 in the opening quarter and never looked back, defeating the Blue, 63-45, on day two of the Land of Magic Classic at the Daytona Beach Ocean Center.

Messiah moves to 11-1 on the year following back-to-back wins in Daytona Beach. The Blue come away winless from their trip to the Sunshine State and are now 3-6 on the season.

Three different Messiah players finished in double-figures, led by junior Maci Thompson (Clarion, Pa.) who finished with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Thompson also totaled seven steals, four rebounds, and three assists for the Falcons. Sophomore Leah Springer (Camp Hill, Pa.) added 11 points off the Messiah bench, while junior Alecia Rohrer (Manheim, Pa.) finished with a double-double, scoring 10 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.

Sophomore Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) scored a team-high 10 points for Wellesley, shooting 5-for-8 from the floor with six rebounds. Sophomore guards Kendall You Mak (San Francisco, Calif.) and Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) each scored nine points, with You Mak adding four boards and four steals while Aguirre grabbed six rebounds and dished out three helpers.

Kopp scored the first four points of the game for the Blue, but a bucket from Springer 1:40 into the first ignited a 20-2 Messiah run. The run ended with the Falcons leading 20-6 after a layup from senior Hannah Brown (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) with 1:41 left in the first. The Falcons went on to outscore the Blue 18-9 in the second quarter, taking their largest lead of the game, at 38-12, with 28 seconds remaining in the half when junior Maci Thornton (Clarion, Pa.) hit a triple. Wellesley first year Lane Arkangel (Redondo Beach, Calif.) ended the first half with a three of her own to send the Blue to the break trailing 38-15. 

You Mak and Kopp each scored layups in the opening minute of the third quarter, as Wellesley would cap a 9-2 run with another bucket from Arkangel to make the score 40-21 at 7:14. The Blue outscored the Falcons 19-9 in the third quarter, eventually cutting their deficit to 13 when senior Chelsea Brown (San Jose, Calif.) finished on an 'and-one' to make the score 47-34 in the final seconds of the period. Unfortunately, the Blue were unable to cut any further into the deficit in the fourth, as Messiah closed out a 63-45 victory. 

Messiah finished the game shooting 45.5% (25-for-55) from the floor, while limiting the Blue to 28.6% (18-of-63) shooting. Messiah also connected on 8-of-12 attempts from three-point range (66.7%). The Blue had a slight edge on the glass, 38-37.

Wellesley returns home and to New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, with a 7:00 PM match-up against Emerson. Messiah will play at Stevenson on January 3 at 8:00 PM.