Leicester, Mass. --- Keneisha Milton (Boston, Mass.) scored 14 points and pulled down 16 rebounds as Wheelock rallied to stun Becker, 59-49, in NECC women's basketball action Thursday evening at the Leicester Gym. The Wildcats of Wheelock climb to 4-17 with a 4-11 mark in NECC contests while the Hawks of Becker drop to 6-16 and 6-9 in conference.
The game was a defensive battle early on, as the Wildcats opened up a 6-2 lead after a layup from Milton four minutes in. Chelsea Joubert (Westborough, Mass.) would answer for the Hawks, hitting a 3-pointer out of a timeout and sparking a 13-0 Becker run, ending on a fast-break layup from Joubert with 10:13 remaining in the half. The hosts extended their lead to 11 with a 3-pointer from Haley Ooms (Valatie, N.Y.) with 5:27 left in the first period. Both teams went into halftime with Becker leading 30-21. Joubert led the Hawks with 12 points while Milton had seven points for the Wildcats.
The second half was hotly contested, as Wheelock slowly chipped away at Becker's lead. Kayla Drescher's (Wallingford, Conn.) layup with 12:37 left remaining in the game cut the lead to three at 35-32 before the Hawks righted the ship, scoring the next six straight points, capped off by a jumper from Tatiana Mojica (Worcester, Mass.). The Wildcats weren't done, however, pulling to within one on another layup by Drescher to complete a 10-2 rally. Mojica made a huge play with five minutes remaining, coming up with a put back to give Hawks a 3-point cushion. Moments later Wheelock would tie the game on a layup from Jo Gomes (Boston, Mass.) with 3:52 left. Milton then gave the Wildcats their first lead since early in the game with a layup in traffic. Wheelock went up by three at 2:56 when Kailah Simon (Norwalk, Conn.) picked Becker's pocket in the backcourt, stealing the ball and taking it in for a layup with 3:15 remaining. Wheelock outscored the hosts 12-1 during a critical four minute stretch, as the Hawks were frustrated into turnovers and contested shots.
Milton, Simon and Drescher each scored 14 points for the Wildcats. Drescher added nine rebounds, four assists and four blocks, setting a Wheelock record with 37 in a single season. Simon also hauled in 13 boards with two steals while scoring all 14 of her points in the second half. Gomes scored eight points with seven rebounds off the bench. Milton added a team-high three steals. Maya Spratling (Dorchester, Mass.) contributed seven points and four rebounds. The Wildcats collectively out-rebounded the Hawks 58-44, shooting 48 percent in the second half and holding their opponents to 18 percent shooting after the break.
Joubert led Becker with a game-high 17 points and four steals. Mojica was strong inside with 12 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks. Ooms came off the bench to score 11 points while handing out a game-high six assists. Kristina Desnoyers (Adams, Mass.) added eight rebounds and five assists. Michelle Griczika (Barre, Mass.) had seven boards.