Lady Quakers beat Brescia
Topp's double-double paces WC to 59-51 win
December 29, 2011
Courtney Tucker scored four points and pulled down three rebounds in Wilmington's win over Brescia. (John Swartzel photo)
SPRINGFIELD — Wilmington College advanced to the championship game of the Charles B. Zimmerman Memorial Classic with a 59-51 win over Brescia University Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Quakers (8-3) will face Wittenberg in the classic's championship game at 4:30 p.m. Friday. The host Tigers defeated Rose-Hulman, 69-54, in Thursday's other first-round game.
Wilmington never found its shooting touch from the field, but relied on rebounding dominance and free throw shooting to end the Bearcats’ two-game winning streak.
After building a 19-11 lead midway through the opening half, Wilmington found itself in a tie game with 5:45 to play.
Haley Howard (Uhrichsville/New Philadelphia) hit a jumper that ignited an 8-1 spurt to close the half and give the Lady Quakers a 27-20 lead at the break.
Wilmington — which pulled down 21 offensive rebounds en route to a 59-34 edge on the boards — opened the second half with a Bria Eslick (Cleveland Heights/Lutheran East) stick-back to go up, 29-20.
Brescia (6-9) stayed within striking distance and cut the deficit to 49-44 with 5:32 to play.
LeAnn Topp (New Bremen) hit a pair of free throws and Brianna Peters (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell County) scored off an Eslick assist to push the advantage to nine points with 2:18 to play.
Emily Zimmerman (Beavercreek) and Shelby Kies (Maineville/Kings) iced the win by draining four straight four throws in the final minute.
The Lady Quakers — who were coming off an 18-for-18 performance from the charity stripe against DePauw — connected on 12 of 15 free throws against Brescia. Wilmington was 9 of 10 from the line with the game on the line in the second half.
Topp led the way with her first career double-double. The junior established career highs with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Makenzie Wippel (Orient/Westfall) was a point shy of the double-double club, finishing with nine points and game-high 13 rebounds.
Kies added seven points. Peters and Eslick combined for 12 points and 15 rebounds.
Wilmington will be making its third tournament championship game appearance this season. The Lady Quakers won the title in the Hampton Inn & Suites/Damon’s Grill Tip-Off Tournament and were runners-up in the Fred Raizk Memorial Tournament.