UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS – With just one field goal in the final five minutes of the game, the Wilmington College women’s basketball team dropped its Ohio Athletic Conference quarterfinal game Tuesday to John Carroll University 79-67 at JCU.
Wilmington lost to John Carroll 77-59 Saturday in the regular season finale.
Wilmington concludes its 2019-20 with an 11-15 overall record for the third consecutive year.
John Carroll finished 28-of-62 (45.2 percent) for the game to go along with 9-of-24 (37.5 percent) from beyond the three-point arc. Wilmington countered with 25-of-67 (37.3 percent) from the field, but shot just 5-of-27 (18.5 percent) from three-point distance. The Blue Steaks, despite holding a 17-4 edge in second-chance points, only held a 41-40 edge in rebounding.
John Carroll’s Olivia Nagy led all scorers with 18 points and 12 rebounds while Nicole Heffington, Dani Carlson and Adler also finished in double figures for JCU.
Both Binkley sisters — McKayla and Hannah — tallied 16 points for Wilmington in defeat while Zahrya Bailey added 14 points to go along with seven assists. Kelis Jones tallied nine points, five rebounds and five assists off the bench while Kelly Noll, playing in her final collegiate game, scored eight points and had five rebounds.
Bailey kept the Quakers in the game early as the freshman scored the team’s first five points including an old-fashioned three-point play at the 6:45 mark. That basket tied the game 5-5, but seven second-chance points and the hot shooting of Abby Adler kept the Blue Streaks on top.
A Jones runner in the final minute followed by a free throw, after being fouled, got Wilmington back within three, 20-17, but Adler’s third three-pointer of the quarter gave JCU a 23-17 lead after one. The quarter break didn’t seem to cool off Adler, as she nailed her fourth triple of the game to open the second. A Nagy layup that followed put the Blue Streaks up 28-17.
Wilmington put together a 9-0 run with baskets from McKayla Binkley and a three from Noll to get within a single basket 28-26 with 5:28 to play in the half. JCU pushed the lead back up to 35-28 two minutes, but the Quakers closed the half with a Bailey runner at the buzzer and went into the locker room trailing just 38-34.
The Quakers used the momentum to earn their first lead of the game on two Bailey free throws at the 6:48 mark of the third quarter. The Blue Streaks trailed for just 15 seconds and Nagy pulled down an offensive rebound and scored on the next possession. JCU held that advantage until Jones took over for a minute-long stretch. The freshman made a free throw, went coast-to-coast for a layup, got a defensive rebound and threw a half-court pass to McKayla Binkley for a layup in transition to tie the game 53-53.
John Carroll scored the last five points of the quarter and opened the fourth with a basket to go back up seven. Wilmington answered with a 6-0 run capped by a McKayla Binkley basket while being fouled. Unfortunately for the Quakers, the free throw was no good and four straight JCU points resulted in a timeout from Wilmington head coach Jerry Scheve with his squad down 64-59 at the 7:10 mark.
The Blue Streaks would lead by at least two possessions the rest of the way. The Quakers went cold from the field in the final five minutes, making just one field goal during that time.