WILMINGTON — The Wilmington College women’s basketball team battled Otterbein University down to the final seconds, but the Cardinals came out with an 84-78 victory in a back-and-forth Ohio Athletic Conference at Fred Raizk Arena Saturday evening.
The Fightin’ Quakers led by four on multiple occasions in the first quarter thanks to Brooke Stover layups and a Kennedy Lewis basket, making the score 21-17, with 30 seconds to play. A Katie McCrary layup at the buzzer made it a one-possession game after 10 minutes.
After an Otterbein three-pointer opened the second quarter, Wilmington went on a 13-3 run capped by two triples from Hannah Binkley to take a 34-25 advantage. It was then Otterbein’s turn for a run as the visitors scored 14 of the quarter’s final 16 points to take a 39-36 lead into halftime. The final three minutes of the half featured 11 combined turnovers between the two squads.
The Cardinals got out to a six-point advantage (50-44) midway through the third quarter, but the Quakers responded with a 13-2 run over the next four minutes fueled by six straight points from Stover, five from Michelle Lee and a Haley Cook layup. Two Otterbein free throws ended the quarter with Wilmington ahead 57-54.
Neither team led by more than a possession for the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter. Hannah Binkley nailed one of her five triples with 27 seconds left, and after another splitting of two free throws from the visitors, the Quakers got possession back trailing 81-78.
Interim head coach Janel Blankespoor elected to go for a two-point basket and drew up a play for McKayla Binkley. The senior got a good shot, a midrange floater on the baseline, but it rolled around and out. Otterbein made a 1-of-2 once against from the line to seal the victory.
Wilmington finished 27-of-74 (36.5 percent) from the field and 7-of-18 (38.9 percent) from distance to go along with making 17-of-20 free throw attempts (85.0 percent). Otterbein made 29-of-71 for 40.8 percent, 10 of which were three-point baskets. The Quakers won a lopsided rebounding battle 57-37, but committed 22 turnovers compared to 14 for the Cardinals.
Hannah Binkley led all scorers with a career-high 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. Stover also had a career evening, scoring 17 points and added eight rebounds. Six Quakers grabbed at least six rebounds with Lee missing a double-double by one point and one rebound. Kelis Jones, though she did not score, dished out five assists.
Wilmington (4-6) will look to rebound with the final regular season series against Heidelberg University this weekend.