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Five seniors to be honored

February 15, 2013

Senior LeAnn Topp is one of five seniors playing their final regular season home game Saturday.

Senior LeAnn Topp is one of five seniors playing their final regular season home game Saturday.

With the fourth seed already secured, the Wilmington College women’s basketball still has a lot to play for when they step on the court 3 p.m. Saturday against Mount Union. (Game Notes, Live Stats/Audio)

The Lady Quakers have lost the last five meetings to Mount Union, and has yet to beat a team in front of them in the Ohio Athletic Conference standings. Additionally, WC does not want to head into the tournament on a two-game losing streak.

Most importantly, Wilmington would like to send their five seniors – LeAnn Topp (New Bremen, OH/New Bremen), Shelby Kies (Maineville, OH/Kings), Emily Zimmerman (Beavercreek, OH/Beavercreek), Brianna Peters (Alexandria, KY/Campbell County), and Bria Eslick (Cleveland Heights, OH/Lutheran East) – off with a victory in their last regular season game at Fred Raizk Arena.

Mount Union, which was ranked as high as second this season, fell out of the rankings for the first time this week. The Purple Raiders are on a two-game losing streak, and are fighting to earn a double-bye in the league tournament.

“They are still a good team with the best player in the league,” said head coach Jerry Scheve. “We are definitely the underdogs and will have to play our best to win the game. We have to defend a lot better than we did in the first game. We have to rebound the basketball. The two facets to improve on are turnovers and shooting percentage. To do those, we have to pass the ball better. Make better passes and better decisions.

In the last meeting, a 85-75 Mount Union victory, it was an unlikely source that enabled the Purple Raiders to secure the win. Freshman Jessie Ballinger scored a career-high 26 in the meeting. The young post player has only reached double figures in one other game this season.

Reigning OAC Player of the Year Rosa Lamattina leads Mount Union with 17.0 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from the field. She is the only player scoring in double figures for the Purple Raiders.

“You are not going to stop her, you just have to contain her,” Scheve said of Lamattina. “It was their young post player that hurt us. She scored at will and that is something we have to be better at.”

Eslick has been playing well lately for the Lady Quakers. In the last seven games, she is averaging a team-high 11.9 points with 5.9 rebounds, along with eight assists and eight steals. In the first meeting, she tallied nine points, but went to the free throw line seven times. Wilmington shot 29 free throws in the game.

Getting to the charity stripe has been one of the WC strengths this season. They are making more free throws (361) than their opponents are attempting (353).

Peters is leading the team with 10.0 points per game with 6.1 rebounds, while Topp is scoring 8.2 points with a team-high 7.3 boards.