UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – Four players scored in double figures as the Wilmington College women’s basketball team earned a critical Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) victory by defeating John Carroll University 66-51 on the road on Saturday.
The win snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Blue Streaks dating back to the 2016-17 season.
“The last four years, our season has ended in tears in the locker room at John Carroll,” Head Coach Janel Blankespoor said. “To finally come out victorious against them today felt really good. The game was sloppy at times, but I never questioned our effort and desire to come out of the game on top.”
Neither team led by more than a possession until a Marisa Seiler offensive putback gave the visitors an 11-7 lead at the 4:15 mark. On the very next possession, courtesy of a Cassidy Lovett steal, the Quakers earned two offensive rebounds. The result – an and-one from Zahrya Bailey off a pass from Lovett gave WC 14-7 advantage. Wilmington would push that advantage to 22-14 after 10 minutes thanks to scoring the final four points of the first quarter.
The second quarter proved to be one of runs. The Quakers scored the first three points of the quarter to take an 11-point lead (25-14), but would be held scoreless for over six minutes. During that time, the Blue Streaks went on an 11-0 run and tied the game with two free throws from Jaylen Hoffman with 1:48 to play in the half.
The Quakers, who hadn’t hit a three-pointer in the game to that point, hit consecutive shots behind the arc both from freshmen as Seiler hit one off a pass from Jada Pohlen and the combo flipped on the ensuing possession as Seiler passed to Pohlen on the wing. The teams then traded baskets, and Seiler intercepted a pass, was fouled and made both free throws to give Wilmington a 35-27 lead at halftime.
Wilmington opened the second half on a 7-2 run to take a 44-29 lead. JCU would get within single digits just once (46-37), but the Quakers opened up a 20-point advantage midway through the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Despite losing the rebounding battling 36-31, Wilmington shot 26-of-59 (44.1 percent) for the game to go along with four triples and an uncharacteristic 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) from the free throw line. JCU was held to 30.9 percent (17-of-55) and from the field and 10.0 percent (1-of-10) from distance. Both teams combined for 46 turnovers.
Four Quakers – Kennedy Lewis, Pohlen, Lovett and Bailey – scored in double figures. Lewis finished with eight rebounds, two assists and three steals while Lovett had a half-dozen steals. Seiler added nine points. For the Blue Streaks, the seniors led the way as Kaelyn Underwood had 16 points and Hoffman added a dozen.
Wilmington (10-5, 4-4 OAC) rounds out the first half of OAC play at Otterbein University on Wednesday. Tip-off from the Rike Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.