November 15, 2011

Lyons separate from Seahawks in second half

NORTON, Mass. - Senior Brendan Degnan (Narragansett, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) poured in a career-high 27 points to lead the Wheaton College men's basketball team to an 84-65 win over Salve Regina University in the season-opener for both teams Tuesday night at Emerson Gymnasium.

Senior Anthony Weeks (Fitchburg, Mass./Worcester Academy) added 13 points for the Lyons (1-0), who improved to 19-4 in their last 23 season-openers. Wheaton knocked down 10-of-22 from behind the three-point arc (45.5 percent), highlighted by three apiece from Degnan and Weeks, to improve to 13-4 all-time against the Seahawks.

The Lyons controlled the paint, outrebounding the Seahawks (0-1) by a 47-39 margin while scoring 42 of their 85 points in the paint. Defensively, Wheaton held Salve Regina to just 36.2 percent from the floor (25-of-69) - including 2-of-19 from behind the arc. The Seahawks also struggled from the charity stripe, knocking down just 54.2 percent of their attempts (13-of-24).

Wheaton led by six at the break (39-33) behind nine points from Degnan and eight from Weeks. The Lyons shot 50 percent in the first half and dropped in six three-point field goals. Salve Regina was paced by graduate student Ryan Birrell (Hope, R.I./Scituate), who netted 10 points to go along with three assists and a pair of steals.

Leading by five (53-48) with 10:13 to go in the second half, the Lyons closed the game on a 31-17 run. Degnan scored 14 points during that span while Weeks chipped in with five points. Birrell finished the night with 11 points, six assists and four steals while sophomore Scott St. Lawrence (Litchfield, N.H./Bishop Guertin) added 14 points, five rebounds, and four assists for the visitors.

Sophomore Brian Grossman (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) scored nine points to go along with two assists and two steals for Wheaton, which also received seven points from freshman Ryan Clinesmith (New York, N.Y./The Hill School) and four points, nine rebounds and a pair of blocks from senior Shawn Daily (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Saint Michael Academy). The 19-point margin of victory was the highest for the Lyons since an 84-52 win over Worcester State on January 27.  

The Lyons return to action on Friday when they travel to Boston to face Emmanuel in the Emmanuel Tip-Off Tournament at 5 p.m. Salve Regina faces St. Joseph's (N.Y.) at the Mitchell Tournament Saturday at 2 p.m.

Courtesy of Wheaton sports information