WILMINGTON — The Wilmington College women’s basketball team came up short in the title game of the 28th annual Damon’s/Hampton Inn Tip-Off Tournament Saturday, losing to the Big Red of Denison, 81-75, at Fred Raizk Arena.
It was a close contest throughout, with the lead changing hands numerous times and the score tied a total of eight times. Heading into the final period, Denison led 56-51 but Wilmington eventually pulled ahead 59-58 on a basket by Kelly Noll with just over six minutes to play in regulation.
The Big Red came back with a 12-2 to take a 70-62 lead with just over two minutes to play and controlled the game from there. Lily Morris nailed a three-pointer for Denison putting them in front.
“This game was hard-fought with neither team being able to pull away,” WC coach Jerry Scheve said. “A team with 10 seniors [Denison] is supposed to find a way to win those types of games.”
Denison was deadly at the free throw line, converting 11 of 14 attempts from the charity strip in the final period.
Wilmington held a 23-22 lead after the first period, but Denison pulled ahead at halftime, 35-34. Wilmington opened the second half with a 7-0 run to take the lead, 41-35, but the Big Red won the period (21-17) taking the 56-51 lead into the final period.
The biggest factor in the game was rebounding, where Denison had the edge, 51-43, and they controlled the offensive boards with a 31-12 advantage.
“Their offensive rebounding hurt us the entire game,” said Scheve. “I’ll talk about this all year, we are going to have to rebound the basketball at both ends of the floor. We missed some assignments that led to too many boards for them.”
In a losing cause, McKayla Binkley led the WC attack with 22 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Hannah Binkley followed with 17 points. Kelly Noll was the third Lady Quaker in double figures with 11. Both Binkleys were selected to the All-Tournament team.
“McKayla [Binkley] had probably her best game here, particularly by her defense,” said Scheve. “We played 11 this weekend and none of them had opening-season jitters.”
For Denison, Zyah Beal was tournament MVP and the team’s leading scorer with 21 points. Allison Schafer scored 15. She also was selected to the All-Tournament team.
Anderson won the consolation game over Miami University-Middletown, 70-54.
The Lady Quakers return to the hardwood 6 p.m. Friday against Franklin in the Fred Raizk Memorial Tournament.
Nov 16, 2019
@Fred Raizk Arena
Denison 81 Wilmington 75
(81) DENISON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Schafer 5-3-2-15, Beal 7-1-6-21, Williams 1-0-1-3, Hofer 1-0-1-3, Lockett 3-0-0-6, Buzas 0-0-0-0, Morris 2-2-4-10, Hunter 3-0-0-6, Turner 3-2-1-9, Longbrake 2-0-2-6.
(75) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Lewis 2-0-2-6, M. Binkley 10-1-1-22, Noll 3-1-4-11, H. Binkley 6-3-2-17, Lee 2-1-1-6, Bailey 1-0-2-4, Carpenter 0-0-0-0, Nilback 1-0-3-5, Snider 1-0-0-2, Jones 1-0-0-2.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.