WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Led by a strong offensive performance from Kristin Brice, the Emerson College basketball team upset Wellesley, 48-45, on Saturday at Keohane Sports Center. The win lifts the Lions to 7-10 on the season, 3-9 in the NEWMAC. Wellesley saw its 11-game winning streak snapped, dropping to 13-3, 10-2 in conference play.
Brice led the Lions with 18 points, shooting 7-12 from the field and 4-4 from the line. Janissa Delzo tallied nine points for the visitors, while Siena O'Han chipped in six and Emily Cameron added five.
Morgyne Weaver recorded a double-double for the Blue, with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Chelsi Scott grabbed 11 boards while scoring nine, while Natalie Anderson tallied eight points to go along with five assists.
The hosts built a quick lead in the opening minutes of the game, capitalizing on a Anderson trey and two buckets from Weaver for a 9-2 advantage. The Lions fought back with two Janissa Delzo jumpers to cut the lead to 11-8, before Wellesley inched away again for a 15-10 edge. Emerson answered with seven straight points, capped off by a Sienna O'Han layup, to grab its first lead of the game at 17-15 with 7:30 remaining in the half.
Two minutes later, a conventional three-point play from Delzo pushed the Lions lead to 22-17. After the teams traded baskets, another trey from Wellesley's Anderson trimmed the lead to 24-22, but Emerson's Cameron closed out the half with a layup, giving the Lions a 26-22 lead at the break.
Wellesley opened the second period with a 5-2 run, trimming the Lions' lead to 28-27. Emerson answered with eight straight, including six from Brice, to build a 36-27 advantage. Weaver stopped the Lions' run with two free throws, sparking a Wellesley charge that pulled the hosts to within one, at 36-35 midway through the period.
Brice turned things around for the visitors, draining two free throws to break the Wellesley string. Elizabeth Horan followed with a trey to re-open a six-point advantage for the Lions with 7:11 remaining.
Four points from the Blue's Katie Shulenberger trimmed the lead to 41-39 at the 5:59 mark, but again Emerson responded. Stingy defense in the closing minutes, along with a jumper from O'Han and two more buckets from Brice, pushed the Lion lead back to six points with 28 seconds remaining.
Wellesley made things interesting in the closing seconds, as a Weaver jumper and two free throws put the Blue in striking distance at 48-45. However, after a missed Lion free throw, Wellesley's desperation three at the buzzer was off the mark, and Emerson held on for the win.
The Blue, who were shooting 78% from the line heading into the game, couldn't capitalize on several opportunities down the stretch, going 4-10 from the line in the final four minutes of play.
Both squads return to action on January 29th. Wellesley will celebrate Student-Athlete Appreciation Night when they host cross-town rival Babson at 7pm. Emerson will return home for a 7:30pm match-up with Wheaton.