For three quarters, the Wilmington College women’s basketball team was executing the game plan to near perfection.
However, sometimes you simply have to tip your hat to an opponent and that time was Saturday.
John Carroll junior Katlyn Spahar, the league’s leading scorer and reigning National Player of the Week, erupted for 25 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to send the Fightin’ Quakers to the 77-76 loss in Ohio Athletic Conference action at Fred Raizk Arena in Hermann Court.
“Spahar did what she does,” said Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve. “She has been a money player; she has beaten us before at the end of the game. We held her in check for most of the game and stayed with it down the stretch. In all honestly, she didn’t get easy shots, she just made tough shots. Even in the first half, the shots she made were tough shots. We put her on the line too often and that probably the biggest problem.”
Wilmington built multiple double-digit leads, including a 17-point third quarter advantage, before the Blue Streaks marched back midway through the fourth quarter. With the Fightin’ Quakers holding a nine-point lead, Spahar hit all three free throws after being fouled on a three pointe and sparked a 7-0 run – all from the free throw line.
The run extended to 13-2 enabling John Carroll to take its first lead of the game with 1:20 remaining. Eleven of the 13 points came from the charity stripe as JCU was 11-of-11 in the fourth quarter. The march to the line continued in the overtime as the Blue Streaks converted nine of 12.
John Carroll’s 23 free throws in the last 15 minutes of the game were one less than Wilmington attempted in the entire game. In fact, JCU was 25-of-31 from the line, while the Fightin’ Quakers were just 14-of-24.
Wilmington had a chance to win in the game in regulation but Ellie Kivell’s three-pointer from the wing rimmed out.
The Blue Streaks scored the first five points in the extra period and never trailed. Wilmington cut the deficit to one possession twice down the stretch. However, WC couldn’t get the much needed stop.
Freshman Mackenzie Campbell led the way with 27 points and seven rebounds in 39 minutes of action, while Brittaney Jefferson tallied 19 points, seven rebounds, a career-high seven assists and tied a season-high with four steals. Kivell and freshman Courtney Hillis added nine points each off the bench.
Wilmington (6-11 overall, 3-7 OAC) hosts Capital (15-2 overall, 8-2 OAC) 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Ohio Athletic Conference action for the team’s Pink Night game.