WILMINGTON – A solid defensive effort helped Wilmington College overcome a sluggish offensive game Tuesday in a 67-52 win over Mount Union in an Ohio Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinal game at Fred Raizk Arena.
“Defense is always our go-to, every single game,” WC junior Savannah Hooper said.
The No. 3 Fightin’ Quakers, 17-9 on the year, will travel to Berea 6 p.m. Thursday to face No. 2 seed Baldwin Wallace in a tournament semifinal game. The start time is a change because the Baldwin-Wallace men are also playing at home on Thursday.
Mount Union ends its season at 13-14.
One down note for Wilmington was the injury to Clinton-Massie graduate Mary Moyer. The WC senior went down with an injury at the 8:50 mark of the fourth quarter and watched the remainder of the game with ice on her right ankle.
Mackenzie Campbell had 18 points and eight rebounds. Brittaney Jefferson finished with 14 points and Savannah Hooper came off the bench to score 11 points.
Before her exit, Moyer had four points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Mount Union made just 27 percent of its field goal attempts, including just 5 for 27 from beyond the three-point line.
“Overall, I was very happy with our defensive effort,” WC head coach Jerry Scheve said. “I thought in the first half we played real well defensively. Every time they made a little run, we were able to make a run and increase the lead.”
Buoyed by a solid crowd – which included a boisterous student section – the WC women jumped out to an 11-0 lead. Mount Union didn’t score its first points until the 2:02 mark of the first.
But Scheve was forced to call timeout at 1:39 with the difference down to 11-5. Hooper halted that brief run with a three-pointer, which kicked off a 7-0 WC run.
In the second, the Purple Raiders got to within 18-11. Ashley Andracki drained a three-pointer, Campbell scored on a stickback then Jefferson came up with a steal and layup. In short order, WC’s lead was back to a comfortable 25-11.
Jefferson’s steal highlighted a sterling defensive effort in the opening half for the Fightin’ Quakers. Mount Union was just 5 for 29 from the field.
“Even when we don’t shoot the ball well, as long as we go back to the fundamentals of defense, our offense will be OK,” Campbell said.
But to start the second half, the WC defense went ice cold. While it took 29 shots to hit five in the first half for Mount Union, it took the Purple Raiders just 10 shots to make five in the third.
So what once was a 43-26 bulge had shrunk to 48-40 late in the third when Kelsey Scott made an old-fashioned three-point play with 56 seconds to go in the third.
An inside-out set from Ja’Cole Tabor to Jefferson who drained a corner three, 51-40, seemed to pump some life back into the Quakers. Andracki’s high-arcing three then Hooper’s equally high-arcing two made it 56-44. Campbell posted up down low for a 58-44 WC advantage.
“I thought Ashley Andracki’s three midway through the fourth was a big basket,” said Scheve. “She stepped up like a senior should in that situation.”
From there, Wilmington took care of business at the free throw line, hitting seven of 10 down the stretch to seal the win. Emily Smith hit a jumper to put WC up 66-49.
Abbey Bartoszewicz led Mount Union with 20 points.
SEASON SWEEP: Wilmington defeated Mount Union 76-56 on Dec. 3 at Raizk Arena then traveled to Alliance and posted a 56-35 win.
OTHER SEMI: Marietta defeated Capital 89-64 Tuesday night and will play at No. 5 Ohio Northern Thursday night. The OAC championship game is set for Saturday at the higher seed.
February 21, 2017
@Fred Raizk Arena
Wilmington 67 Mount Union 52
(52) MOUNT UNION (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Sanborn 4-0-4-12 Jones 0-0-0-0 Alkire 0-0-0-0 Bartoszewicz 6-3-5-20 Hennessy 0-0-0-0 Scott 1-0-1-3 Rappach 1-1-0-3 Morrissette 1-0-0-2 Hess 0-0-0-0 Inverso 0-0-0-0 Roddy 2-0-1-5 Ferguson 0-0-0-0 Tinkey 1-1-3-6 Cobb 0-0-0-0 DeFord 0-0-1-1. TOTALS 16-5-15-52
(67) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Harman 1-0-0-2 Moyer 2-0-0-4 Jefferson 4-1-5-14 Andracki 3-3-0-9 Cmpabell 8-0-2-18 Murphy 0-0-0-0 Hooper 4-1-2-11 Ritz 0-0-0-0 Smith 2-0-0-4 Tabor 1-0-3-5 Arling 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 25-5-12-67
FIELD GOALS: M 16-59 (Sanborn 4-7); W 25-63 (Campbell 8-12 Hooper 4-7 Smith 2-3)
3 PT FIELD GOALS: M 5-27; W 5-21 (Andracki 3-5)
FREE THROWS: M 15-20; W 12-16 (Jefferson 5-7 Tabor 3-4 Hooper 2-2 Campbell 2-3)
REBOUNDS: M-37 Sanborn 8); W-49 (Moyer 8 Campbell 8 Jefferson 7 Hooper 6 Smith 4 Tabor 4)
ASSISTS: M-3; W-11 (Moyer 3 Harman 2 Smith 2)
STEALS: M-3; W-7 (Moyer 2)
BLOCKED SHOTS: M-3; W-2
TURNOVERS: M-14; W-13
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports