WILMINGTON – Unlike the first half, there was no second half slump for the Wilmington College women’s basketball team in Friday night’s 79-51 win over Olivet (Mich.) in the opening round of the 2016 Damon’s/Hampton Inn Tip-Off tournament at Hermann Court’s Fred Raizk Arena.
WC was outscored 24-16 after building a 19-4 first half lead. The Fightin’ Quakers led 35-28 at halftime. Olivet was as close as 25-20 in the second quarter.
“I wasn’t surprised we didn’t continue to play well because I thought …. it should be a real good lesson for us,” said WC head coach Jerry Scheve. “If you think it’s going to be easy and you start doing things you’re not used to doing you’re going to let teams right back in the games. After they (Olivet) got their jitters out, they showed they area solid basketball team. It shows you can’t let your guard down.”
In the second half, Wilmington scored 20 of the first 27 points in the third quarter and just kept rolling to the 28-point win.
“We definitely talked (at halftime) that we weren’t doing what we normally do on defense and what we stress in practice,” said Mackenzie Campbell, the Turpin product who led WC in scoring with 13 points. “So we just talked about picking it up on defense and relaxing on offense.”
Wilmington is now 2-0 and will face Carnegie Mellon 3 p.m. Saturday in the championship game of the tournament.
After making 8 of 15 field goals in the first quarter, Wilmington was just 6 of 21 in the second quarter. The second half shooting was strong in both quarters, 10 of 17 in the third and 8 of 13 in the fourth. In all, Wilmington shot 48.5 percent from the field for the game.
Samantha Murphy, a Fayetteville High School graduate, came off the bench to scored 12 points – all on three-pointers – in the fourth quarter.
“In my high school I was (a good shooter) and in practice yes … but it’s a big transition (to college basketball),” Murphy said. “In high school all we did was play a 2-3 defense. Here we play man which is what I’m working on.”
Scheve said the transition from high school to college may be most difficult on players noted more for their offensive abilities.
“She’s trying to learn what we do (on defense) and concentrate on that I think more than making shots,” said Scheve. “As she’s become more comfortable her shots have started to go in.”
Mary Moyer, the Clinton-Massie grad who hit the game-winning shot in the season opener, had 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
WC held a 29-13 advantage on the boards in the first half but committed 11 turnovers. Wilmington did have 11 assists on 14 first half field goal attempts.
Ashley Andracki handed out five assists with just one turnovers.
UP NEXT: Wilmington will play in the championship game of the tournament against Carnegie Mellon at 3 p.m. Saturday. The consolation game is set for a 1 p.m. start with Olivet squaring off against Transylvania.
MORE MOYER: After her three-pointer with less than two seconds left in Tuesday’s game to lift Wilmington to a 59-56 win over Denison, Mary Moyer had a fast start Friday night. She had six of Wilmington’s first 16 points and finished with five rebounds in the first quarter.
DEAR FRIEND: It was good to see Judy Doyle, the longtime face and workhorse of the athletic department at WC, at the tournament Friday. She retired from the athletic department but has been filling in on campus in another department. She was attending the tournament with her husband Ralph.
MUCH QUIETER: Unlike Tuesday’s season openers for both the men and women, the crowd was smaller and much more subdued for Friday’s tournament opener. Students weren’t much of a factor as most leave campus and head home for the weekend.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports