Lady Quakers drop defensive battle to Ohio Northern

WC falls, 64-46

February 15, 2012

Brianna Peters (at left) drives to the basket during Wilmington's loss to Ohio Northern.

Brianna Peters (at left) drives to the basket during Wilmington's loss to Ohio Northern.

On a night when defensive play was key, Wilmington College dropped a 64-46 decision to Ohio Northern in Ohio Athletic Conference action at Fred Raizk Arena.

The Lady Quakers are now 7-10 in the OAC, 12-12 overall. Ohio Northern improves to 14-3 in the conference, 20-4 for the season.

“Our effort was there tonight. Our execution just needs to be better if we want to beat a team like Ohio Northern,” Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve said.

Both teams struggled mightily to score early in the game. The Polar Bears took a 7-0 lead before Brianna Peters (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell County) got Wilmington on the board with a free throw at 12:46.

Defense kept Wilmington close until the Polar Bears closed the opening half with a 9-0 run to take a 27-16 lead at the break.

“We got off to a great start defensively. Offensively, we struggled from the opening tip. Take away the last two minutes of the first half and a couple breakdowns in the second half; I thought we played outstanding defensive basketball. They didn’t shoot well, and I thought we had a lot to do with that. We didn’t pass well or shoot well, and they had a lot to do with that. We have to be a better passing team and we have to be a better shooting team. We have to keep working at it,” Scheve said.

Ohio Northern stretched its lead to 35-21 early in the second half, but Shelby Kies (Maineville/Kings) hit a 3-pointer and assisted a Bria Eslick (Cleveland Heights/Lutheran East) basket as Wilmington scored seven straight to pull within seven points of the Polar Bears.

The run, though, was Wilmington’s last of the game as Ohio Northern pushed its advantage back to double figures and cruised home with the win.

Eslick led Wilmington with eight points while Kies, Bethany Ahrens (Versailles) and Makenzie Wippel (Orient/Westfall) added seven apiece.

LeAnn Topp (New Bremen) scored six points and collected game-high 12 rebounds. For the game, both teams finished with 41 rebounds.

The Lady Quakers, thanks to Marietta’s loss to Capital Wednesday, will be the No. 6 seed in the OAC Tournament and will host a first-round game against a to-be-determined opponent Feb. 20. That game, Scheve said, is not the point of focus.

“All we are concerned with right now is about our game Saturday with Otterbein. It will be Senior Day, so we want to make that a special day. We want to finally show what we think we are capable of doing. We’re going to try to do that Saturday, and we will worry about Monday on Sunday,” Scheve said.

Wilmington vs. *OHIO NORTHERN

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 Final
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
7:30 PM until 9:00 PM