Scots Beset by Cold Fourth-Quarter Shooting in NCAC Tilt at Kenyon

Kylie Orr

Down 42-37 after three periods of play, The College of Wooster women's basketball team fell ill to cold fourth-quarter shooting and what came to be the exact opposite from Kenyon College, which hit its first three 3-pointers to start the fourth as part of a larger 17-2 fourth-period run as the Fighting Scots fell, 61-43, to the Ladies on Wednesday evening at Tomsich Arena in Gambier, Ohio.

Through the first three periods, the Ladies (18-6, 12-3 North Coast Athletic Conference) went 2-for-23 from beyond the arc, but turned it on when it counted after connecting on their first three of seven total fourth-quarter attempts while limiting Wooster (2-22, 1-14 NCAC) to just over seven percent (1-for-13) shooting in the final frame.

Highlighting the Scots' effort was first-year Akwia Tilton, who came away with a season-best 14 points on nine shots, including a stretch of nine-straight points to open the second half.

Meanwhile, Kenyon's leading scorer, Bailey Dominguez (10.1 points per game), was held to zero points on 0-for-11 shooting on the night. However, three Ladies – led by Lane Davis' 16 points – earned double-digit scoring figures.

Jumpstarting the Scots' scoring efforts was first-year Cat Fiorito, who connected on a lean-in jumper in the lane on Wooster's second possession to tie it at 2 less than a minute in.

Consecutive buckets from Kenyon's Davis and Miranda Diesz brought Kenyon ahead 6-2 before Wooster first-year Kylie Orr, who entered the game shooting nearly 31 percent from three-point range on the season, drilled her first two attempts from beyond the arc to lift the Scots to an 8-6 advantage 5:44 into the game.

Orr led Wooster's reserves with 12 points in 18 minutes off the bench.

Meanwhile, buckets from three different Ladies powered a 6-0 period-closing run for Kenyon, as they took a 12-8 advantage heading into the second.

Sophomore Christina Vukovich brought Wooster back to within one possession after splitting opportunities at the foul line 21 seconds into the second stanza. On the ensuing trip down the floor, Kenyon's Griffin Tullis netted a jumper to stretch the lead back to five (14-9).

Eight seconds later, first-year Akwia Tilton drew a foul from Kenyon's Davis and made the jumper in the process, converting on the old-fashioned three-point play to cut the deficit to two just 39 seconds into the second period.

Tullis responded with a three-point play of her own, this one coming from 22 feet out to fuel a 9-0 Ladies' run that saw contributions from four players.

Despite three first-quarter turnovers, sophomore Anna Gibbs continued to attack the paint for Wooster, as the Scots' leading scorer earned a trip to the foul line at the 4:45 mark, where she hit the backend of two opportunities to spark a 7-0 period-closing run for Wooster as the Scots closed the gap to one, 27-26, heading into the break.

Notable, the Scots forced 12 first-half turnovers from the Ladies, who came in averaging 14.0 per game.

Consecutive layups from Kenyon's Davis at the start the third bookended a jumper from Tilton, who capped that exchange with her second three-pointer of the season to draw the Scots level at 31.

Of note, Davis, who ended the first 20 minutes 5-for-5 from the field, finished 7-for-7 after three periods and 8-for-10 on the day.

On the next Kenyon possession, Diesz brought the Ladies up by three with an and-one conversion at the 7:56 mark, only to be countered by four straight points from Tilton as Wooster took a 35-34 lead – its last of the night – with 5:24 remaining in the third.

Paige Matijasich continued the back-and-forth third period, reclaiming the lead for Kenyon with, at that time, the Ladies' second three-pointer of the game after going 1-for-19 from long range prior to that.

With under four minutes left in the third, Jessica Gerber stretched the Ladies' advantage to five with an and-one conversion, while Orr countered on the other end with a layup off the inbound to bring the Scots back within one possession. Kenyon's Sidney Cera capped the scoring for both sides with two makes at the foul line, as both squads went scoreless through the final 1:45 in the third with Kenyon leading, 42-37.

The Ladies' lost three-point shooting made an appearance to start the fourth as Kenyon stormed out of the break on a 9-0 run – all from 3-pointers – as part of a larger 17-2 streak. Cold shooting limited Wooster throughout the final stanza, as they opened the period 0-for-7 from the floor and finished 1-for-13.

Other notable statistical tallies include Gibbs, who pulled down a season-best eight rebounds, and Vukovich, who ended with a team-high three steals.

The Scots return to action against Wittenberg University (10-13, 6-8 NCAC) as part of "Senior Day" on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.