Emerson basketball program sweeps Wheaton

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Photo: Sydney Ciardi

Zach Waterhouse attempting a shot during the game.

By Tyler Foy, Sports Editor

The men’s and women’s basketball teams took the court in a double header against Wheaton College Wednesday night, winning back-to-back conference games at Wheaton’s King Arena. 

Sophomore guard Ella Bushee led the women’s team to its first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference win against Mount Holyoke College on Saturday to push its record to 4-9, setting the stage for the men’s game that followed. 

Wheaton’s women’s team entered the game 5-7 on a four-game losing streak. Despite its lack of recent success, the match was a battle between both sides.

The Lyons scored the first points of the game with a jump shot but the Lions were quick to return the favor. This back-and-forth energy carried throughout the match, as neither side got further than four points ahead of the other. Emerson held the lead for most of the first quarter, but within the last minute, Bushee missed two free throws and Wheaton put up a mid range-jumper to take the lead, 14-13.

Emerson regained the lead at the start of the second quarter on a layup by Bushee. The Lions scored another seven points to push the lead to 22-14. Wheaton responded with a series of three-pointers from first-year guard Riley Sprague, racking up nine points. The teams continued to exchange the lead but deadlocked at 28 at half. 

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The Lions finally stepped up its defense and pulled ahead in the third quarter, holding Wheaton to only five points. Bushee scored eight points and sophomore guard Ava Salti hit a key three-point shot to extend the Lions’ lead to 43-33. 

This momentum wouldn’t hold up in the fourth quarter as Wheaton’s shots started landing and Emerson’s lead to five points. Five turnovers and several missed shots created chaos on the offensive end, and a three-pointer from Wheaton led to a Lions’ time-out call with just under four minutes left in the quarter.  After almost a minute without scoring, junior guard Chelsea Gibbons made a layup, putting the Lions up 49-43. 

Wheaton pulled within two points with just one minute left in the game. Senior forward Katie Beckmann and Gibbons sank four free-pointers. The Lions held the lead for the final seconds and won the game 53-50.

It was then the men’s turn to make an appearance on the court. They had just beaten the Coast Guard on Monday night 75-59 while Wheaton was looking to end a six-game drought. 

The Lions struck first with a jump shot from senior guard Zach Waterhouse, who scored his 1,000th point last game, becoming the 19th player to do so in Emerson basketball history. 

The game would not be a walk in the park for the Lions, as the first 10 minutes of the game remained close. The Lions took the lead on a jump shot from junior shooting guard Max Davis at 17-15 and held it for the majority of the game. They slowly grew their lead throughout the first half, entering halftime with an 11-point lead.

Senior center Jarred Houston dominated Wheaton on both sides of the ball, scoring 13 points and securing 11 rebounds in the first half. The team struggled shooting from beyond the arc, only sinking four out of 14. 

The Lyons started the second half with more energy and almost closed the gap once, coming to 49-47. After a couple of scores from each team, Wheaton gained the lead from a three-pointer by junior guard Alex Carlisle to make it 52-51.

Emerson responded immediately with a three pointer by Waterhouse, reclaiming the lead. The Lions went on a tear against Wheaton, building upon the momentum. 

Waterhouse and Houston had 10 and 15 points respectively, leading the men’s basketball team to be victorious, 81-72. The star center totaled 28 points and 20 rebounds.

Both teams will play again this Saturday with the women’s team playing Eastern Nazarene in the Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym and the men’s team playing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.