Battling Bishops Ride First-Quarter Run in 83-72 Win Over Wooster

Rachel Collins

WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster women's basketball team posted 46 second-half points on 45 percent shooting (18-for-40), but a 22-7 run – including a 9-0 skid to start the game – from Ohio Wesleyan University proved the difference as the Battling Bishops held on for an 83-72 victory on Saturday afternoon at Timken Gymnasium.

Megan Kuether of Ohio Wesleyan (5-9, 2-3 North Coast Athletic Conference) led all scorers with 22 points on 18 shots, while teammate Elea Karras followed up with 18 points on an efficient 6-for-10 shooting, including 5-for-6 from the foul line.

Four Fighting Scots reached double-figures, led by sophomore point guard Anna Gibbs's 16 points on as many shots.

First-year Kylie Orr contributed 12 points off the bench – all from three-pointers (4-for-7) – while starters Rachel Collins and Aki Shurelds added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Eleven points marks a season-best for Collins, who went 4-for-17 to go along with five rebounds.

Meanwhile, Wooster leading rebounder Christina Vukovich, who came in averaging over six per game, posted a team-high eight rebounds.

Despite a fervent comeback attempt, the game was won in the first 10 minutes, as Ohio Wesleyan rode an opening 9-0 run to fuel a larger 22-7 streak that put them ahead 22-12 by the first period's end.

Meanwhile, the Bishops outscored the Scots 18-14 in the second period to lead 40-26 at the half. Kuether went 3-for-5 in the second period to go along with a perfect 4-for-4 from the field in the opening 10 minutes.

Trailing 49-35 with 6:05 remaining in the third, baskets from first-year Akwia Tilton sandwiched a jumper from first-year Cortney Lockhart, as the Scots found themselves down seven (49-42) with four minutes left to play in the period.

Yet, that would be the closest the Scots would get as an 11-7 Bishops' run to end the quarter built the advantage back to 13 (60-47) going into the fourth.

In an evenly-match finish, both teams recorded 23 points in the fourth quarter. For the Scots, Gibbs tallied eight points followed by Orr with six, while junior Katie Mandych picked up four of her six points.

On the whole, Wooster forced 11 turnovers while winning the advantage in points off turnovers, 10-5, and outscoring the Bishops in second-chance points, 18-7.

The Scots' bench outscored Ohio Wesleyan's 29-16. The Bishops, however, earned the edge at the foul line, connecting on 15-of-23, compared to 7-of-8 for Wooster.

The Scots return to action at Allegheny College (2-11, 0-5 NCAC) on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 4 p.m.