Wilmington grits out victory over 'Berg

January 26, 2013

Senior Bria Eslick, along with sophomore Courtney Tucker, helps hold the OAC's leading scorer to 11 points under her scoring average.

Senior Bria Eslick, along with sophomore Courtney Tucker, helps hold the OAC's leading scorer to 11 points under her scoring average.

Senior LeAnn Topp recorded her second straight double-double helping the Wilmington College Lady Quakers win their third consecutive game, beating Heidelberg Saturday, 55-46, in Ohio Athletic Conference action at Fred Raizk Arena in Hermann Court.

It was Wilmington's Hoops for a Cure game. The athletic department accepted donations for the Susan G. Koman Foundation instead of admission.

“The important thing is to win when you don’t play well,” said head coach Jerry Scheve. “Heidelberg is a team that gives everyone trouble with their style of play. They are physical. They attack you defensively. They are the kind of team if you let their pressure effect you, they will be effective. If you can counteract their pressure, you can get layups, and we didn’t counteract their pressure very well.”

Topp (New Bremen, OH/New Bremen) finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. It marks her fifth double-figure rebounding game, and the Lady Quakers are 4-1 in those contests. She added three blocks and three steals for Wilmington.

It was Topp that keyed the biggest run of the game. With WC trailing with 9:24 left, the senior forward scored seven of Wilmington’s 15 points in its 15-4 run over a three and a half minute stretch, opening up a nine-point bulge.

“LeAnn is our leader,” said Scheve. “We needed her to step up and be a leader, and thankfully she did. She has done it all year. She is having an outstanding year. She is an undersized post player who is rebounding the heck out of the basketball, getting big baskets for us and is going to defend as well as anybody. Probably the most important thing is she wants to win more than anybody.”

As the lead settled in at nine points, Heidelberg couldn’t elude the Lady Quakers defense enough to put a dent in the WC lead. In fact, Wilmington limited the Student Princes to 10 points over the final 9:24.

It marks the second time this season Wilmington has won after trailing at halftime. The Student Princes led for most of the first half, built a 10-point lead, and took a 25-24 lead into the half. Heidelberg was successful in the first half mainly due to the ability to keep WC off the boards. They held a 23-16 rebounding advantage and shot 41.7 percent from the field.

Wilmington locked down on HU in the second half, limiting Heidelberg to just two three-pointers in the second 20 minutes. The Student Princes made five in the first half. Meanwhile the defensive exploits of sophomore Courtney Tucker (Cincinnati, OH/Sycamore) and senior Bria Eslick (Cleveland Heights, OH/Lutheran East) on the OAC’s leading scorer, Kathleen Phillips, were impeccable. The duo held Phillips to just seven shots, and 11 points below her season average, in 19 minutes of action.

“We didn’t do anything differently other than doing what we do better,” said Scheve. “I can only remember one shot that she got that I was unhappy with. She has some tendencies and you have to make her go away from her strengths, and I think we did a good job of that today. Courtney is going to be our defensive stopper and Bria is coming in for her to do the same thing.”

Eslick added nine points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists for WC.

Wilmington (12-7 overall, 8-4 OAC) travels to Bexley 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to grapple with Capital.

Wilmington vs. *HEIDELBERG

Saturday, January 26, 2013 Final
Raizk Arena at Hermann Court
Saturday, January 26, 2013
3:00 PM