With the game hanging in the balance and the Wilmington College women’s basketball team in the midst of a fourth-period comeback, the Fightin’ Quakers got a key defensive play from a new face.
Sophomore Emily Harman blocked the potential game-tying shot with 11 seconds remaining and the Fightin’ Quakers knocked Marietta from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 63-61 win in Ohio Athletic Conference action in Fred Raizk Arena at Hermann Court Saturday.
Not only did Harman turn in the biggest defensive play, she was in the middle of Wilmington’s game-deciding run. The forward scored 6 straight to start the fourth period, and 10 of WC’s 16 points in a 16-5 run. The spurt turned a 6-point deficit into a 5-point lead, and the Fightin’ Quakers survived a half-court shot attempt that clanged off the rim at the buzzer.
“Emily Harman was just huge all day,” said Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve. “It ended with that play, but it was from the very beginning. She is one of the smartest players I’ve ever had. She doesn’t overwhelm you physically, but mentally she does a great job of understanding what we do and taking advantage of situations. This year she is knocking down shots a lot better; she hit a big shot at the end of the second half. I can’t say enough about her.”
Harman finished with a career-high 11 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Wilmington is 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the OAC.
It took Wilmington a little time to adjust to some new roles, and Marietta scored 10 straight from the end of the first period to the start of the second to take its biggest lead of the game, 24-11. After WC cut into its deficit, the Pioneers had a 10-2 spurt to open up another double-figure advantage.
Despite falling behind double-figures on multiple occasions, Wilmington never wavered in its ability to post its first OAC win of the season.
“We played a lot of different kids in a lot of different positions today,” said Scheve. “We made a lot of changes, and it took everybody a little bit of time to get adjusted to their role. When they got comfortable, we played really well from there.
“Our kids played with confidence the whole game. I thought we had confidence when we were behind, and that didn’t change once we got the lead. We played like we expected to win, and that is what we have to continue to do. We have not played well up until now, and hopefully, this gets us jump started for the rest of the year.”
After struggling in the first 4 games of the season, junior Mary Moyer turned in her best statistical game of the season. She posted her third career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
“She had a great game Wednesday night at Capital,” Scheve said of Moyer. “It didn’t show up statistically, but had a great game, and then had another one tonight. She is one of the leaders of this team, and she has – I think – played within herself. She is a key for us to be successful.”
It was the first time this season, junior Brittaney Jefferson didn’t lead the team in scoring.
Jefferson finished with a season-low 9 points, but grabbed a career-high 8 rebounds and dished out a career-high 4 assists. Freshman Mackenzie Campbell added 8 points and 3 rebounds.
Scheve also pointed out the play of freshman A.J. Arling, who tallied 4 points and a rebound.
“Another key was A.J. Arling; a really young, inexperienced player,” said Scheve. “She has shown us a lot, but hasn’t had a lot of success on the court. She probably had her first 3 shots blocked, and we told her to be strong, continue taking it at them, and she scored the next 3, 3 times she touched the ball. I thought she made huge strides today.”
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