WELLESLEY Mass. -- Wellesley College basketball improved to 3-0 at home and 8-3 on the season with a 65-38 victory over visiting Pine Manor College in a non-conference meeting on Saturday afternoon at Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.
Senior Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) scored 12 points to lead the Blue, finishing 5-of-12 from the field with five rebounds, and one assist. Junior Alyssa Cho (Hillsborough, Calif.) added 10 points, five rebounds, and four steals, while senior Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) had eight points, three assists, and three rebounds. First years Rachel Shurberg (Fairfax, Va.), Pujita Shukla (Austin, Texas) and Camille Taylor (Boston, Mass.) combined for 24 points off the Blue bench, with Shurburg scoring nine, Shukla adding eight and Taylor dropping in seven.
Junior Kierra Jackson (Pikesville, Md.) paced the Gators (2-6 overall), finishing with 15 points and 17 rebounds. Junior Nandi Eskridge (Pacifica, Calif.) added nine rebounds and seven points and Ladaeja Robinson (Boston, Mass.) chipped in six points off the bench.
Jackson scored six of her team-leading 15 points in the first quarter, helping Pine Manor to jump out to a 9-5 lead with 2:33 left in the opening stanza. Wellesley countered with a 7-0 run to end the quarter, taking a 12-9 lead into the second when first year Jiyun Chae (Chantilly, Va.) beat the buzzer with a layup. Chae finished the game with six points.
The Wellesley run continued into the next quarter, as the Blue outscored the visitors 13-3 over the next 10 minutes to take a commanding 25-12 lead at the half. The Wellesley lead would grow to as many as 28 points in the second half.
The Blue scored 20 points in each of the final two quarters, forcing 11 Pine Manor turnovers after the break. Taylor dropped in five of her seven points in the fourth quarter, including a lay-up in the final minute that made the score 63-36.
Wellesley finished the contest with a 19-4 advantage in steals and slim 42-41 edge in rebounds. The shot 28-of-71 (39.4%) from the floor and 3-of-12 (25%) from beyond the arc. Pine Manor countered at 30.4% (14-of-46).
Wellesley will open New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play next Saturday, January 18, when the Blue host Clark at 1:00 PM. Pine Manor will host Mount Holyoke on Wednesday, January 15, at 6:00 PM.