No. 12 John Carroll pulls away from WC women in second half

WILMINGTON — The Wilmington College women’s basketball team trailed John Carroll University by five at halftime, but the nationally-ranked Blue Streaks pulled away in the second half to earn a 76-56 Ohio Athletic Conference win at Fred Raizk Arena Saturday afternoon.

The Blue Streaks, ranked No. 12 in the most recent Top 25 Poll, took a 12-7 lead on a three-pointer by All-American Nicole Heffington from the top of the arc. The Fightin’ Quakers answered with a three from Kelis Jones and a pair of Cassidy Lovett free throws to tie the game at 12.

JCU led 16-14 after 10 minutes, but Wilmington opened the second quarter on a 10-4 run capped by a Kennedy Lewis three gave the Quakers a 24-20 lead. Similar to the hosts in the first quarter, the visitors answered with a three and spurred a 16-6 run over a span of five minutes. Lovett ended the half with a free throw to pull WC within five points (38-33) at the break.

The second half belonged to the Blue Streaks, however, as JCU outscored Wilmington 15-6 in the third and 23-17 in the fourth riding Nagy the majority of the half. She led all scorers with 23 points, 19 of which came in the second half, and completed the double-double with 13 rebounds. Nicole Heffington (14) and Sarah Balfour (11) also finished in double figures.

For the Quakers, Brooke Davis (11 points) and Zahrya Bailey (10 points) both finished in double figures. Haley Cook added six points and five rebounds while Lewis had five points and dished out four assists.

As s team, JCU finished 33-of-63 (52.4 percent) from the field as well as 7-of-19 (36.8 percent) from distance. Wilmington shot 38.8 percent (19-of-49) from the field, 27.8 percent (5-of-19) from three-point range and 72.2 percent (13-of-18) from the free throw line. The Blue Streaks won the rebounding battle 34-27, dished out 25 assists and forced 20 turnovers.

Wilmington hosts Otterbein University 7 p.m. Wednesday.