NASHUA, NH -- Kaitlyn Wechsler tied Lesley's single-game scoring record, pouring in 33 points in Lesley's 75-69 victory Thursday night at Rivier.
The senior nailed 15 free throws, also a program record, pulling down seven rebounds as Lesley (9-7, 8-0 NECC) used only six players in turning a 43-27 rebounding advantage into its seventh straight victory.
Rachael O'Mara also registered a career high in the points column with 24, breaking her previous high of 23 set last Saturday at Becker. She made it a double-double tonight by added 10 rebounds, second best on the night to Cassidy Freed's 13. O'Mara's career high came on 10-13 shooting and Wechsler needed to shoot only 9-14 for her 33 by cashing in on a 15-20 effort at the charity stripe.
Amanda Purcell led Rivier (4-14, 2-3 GNAC) with 21 points on 3-6 shooting from distance and a game-high three steals.
After the teams exchanged leads in the early going, Wechsler scored the first four points of an 8-0 run that pulled the Lynx ahead, 24-17, late in the first half. Her jumper with 52 seconds left in the first half gave Lesley its largest lead yet, 29-21 at halftime.
O'Mara led all scorers at half with 12 points to go along with five rebounds. Wechsler followed with 11 points and four boards, and Freed led all players with seven rebounds as Lesley outrebounded Rivier 22-17 and held the Raiders to 28 percent first-half shooting.
The game's leading scorer came out even hotter out of the half, as O'Mara scored seven straight Lynx points to put her team ahead by 13, 36-23. Minutes later, Rivier used an 8-2 run featuring three-pointers from Erin Sweeney and Britney Lane to cut the margin to two, 46-44. Wechsler's Lynx answered immediately, as the senior scored six points in a 8-0 run that bumped the margin to a more comfortable 52-44.
Wechsler, who earlier this season scored her 1,000th career point at the foul line, shot 10-12 at the stripe over the final 12:30 and 3-4 in the final 41 seconds. Her 15th free throw of the night was one of three straight that turned what Rivier had cut to a three-point game back up to a six-point lead in the closing seconds, setting a pair of Lynx records and sending the team to a seventh straight win.
Her 33rd point of the night tied the record of former teammate Hailee Lowe, set two years ago to the day - on January 27, 2009 against Mitchell. Her 15th free throw snapped a slightly older record, which Tia Cleckley established November 28, 2000 against Atlantic Union.
Led by Weschsler and O'Mara, who combined to shoot 19-27 (70 percent), Lesley shot an impressive 57 percent from the floor. O'Mara made good on all three of her threes, and the team hit 3-6 in all.
As overwhelming as the career nights of Wechsler and O'Mara were, their team's defense and rebounding can't be overlooked. Lesley limited the Raiders to a combined 38 percent effort from the floor and six Lynx outrebounded a dozen Raiders 43-27.
Center Brianne Caira, one of five Lesley starters to play 34 or more minutes, chipped in with 12 points and eight rebounds before fouling out at the 3:19 mark. Point guard Emily Fleming added four points, five rebounds and five assists in her 35 minutes.
Lesley returns to NECC play on Saturday morning, playing host to Elms at 10 a.m. Fans will receive a "Fear the Green" towel and are encouraged to wear green as part of the Lynx "Green Out," sponsored by the Lesley Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.