Wilmington looking to get over road block

WC has 11-game road-losing streak

November 27, 2012

Spencer Robles has scored in doubles figures in four of Wilmington's five games.

Spencer Robles has scored in doubles figures in four of Wilmington's five games.

WILMINGTON – Now that the Wilmington College women’s basketball team has rebounded from back-to-back losses, the Lady Quakers must tackle another bugaboo – road games.

(Game Notes, Audio, Video, Live Stats)

They were 1-10 away from Hermann Court last season, and will carry an 11-game road-losing streak into Wednesday’s game with the College of Mount St. Joseph. In fact, Wilmington has lost 13 of their last 14 away games.

Mount St. Joseph comes into the game winless in three attempts, but has had more than a week to prepare for the Lady Quakers. The time to prep could be advantageous for the youthful Lions, who are one of the youngest teams in the country. They have just one senior with 10 freshmen and three sophomores.

But make no mistake about them; they are a talented bunch.

“They play solid man-to-man defense,” said Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve. “They play a lot of players. We have to be ready to play. We haven’t played well on the road over the last year. However, I expect us to play well on the road.”

Freshman Madie Long is leading the team with 8.7 points per game on 31 percent shooting, while freshman Heidi McManus is adding 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds. Sophomores Melanie Monahan and Rachel Blevins, along with freshman Chelsea Castleberry are each scoring 5.7 points. Blevins in the team’s leading rebounder with 5.3 boards per contest.

Wilmington comes into the game 3-2 and on a two-game winning streak after winning the Fred Raizk Memorial Tournament. The two losses have come at the hands of two Top 10 teams as DePauw was ranked first and Hope ninth in the most recent Division III basketball polls.

Part of the Lady Quakers’ success can be attributed to the growth and development of sophomore Spencer Robles (Clyde, OH/Clyde) and junior Haley Howard (Uhrichsville, OH/New Philadelphia). The duo has combined to convert 17 of the team’s 26 three-pointers.

Robles, the team’s leading scorer with 9.8 points, has scored in double figures in four of the team’s five games. She recently moved into the starting lineup, and averaged 13.5 points in her two starts. Howard, who was named to the Fred Raizk Memorial Tournament All-Tournament team, has started all five games at point guard, and is leading the team with 21 assists. She is the only player with significant minutes to have a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. She is added 6.2 points per game.

“Those two have really stepped up from where they were a year ago,” said Scheve. “They used the off season to get better. They came back to school in better shape and it’s showing on the court.”

Another reason for the improved play is senior Brianna Peters (Alexandria, KY/Campbell County). An emphasis of getting her the ball in better positions to score paid off recently as she was named to the Raizk Memorial All-Tournament team after averaging 13.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in the two victories.

“To me, the game as seemed to slow down for her in the last week or so,” said Raizk. “She has taken her time with the basketball and made good decisions. If that continues, she will have a lot of success.”