Consistent Effort Comes Up Short as Tigers Hold On Late Against Scots

WOOSTER, Ohio – A consistent performance from The College of Wooster women's basketball team could not materialize into a final lead as Wittenberg University managed to hold on late and come away with a 71-63 win on Saturday afternoon at Timken Gymnasium.

A seven-point first-period lead proved to be the difference maker for the Tigers (8-9, 3-5 North Coast Athletic Conference), who shot 42.6 percent on the day as four Wittenberg players totaled at least 10 points.

First-year Sarah Rapacz goes up for a layup against Wittenberg University on Saturday.

For Wooster (4-12, 2-5 NCAC), junior Anna Gibbs tallied a game-high 20 points, fueled by a 5-of-9 effort from three-point range.

The Fighting Scots shot out to a quick 6-2 lead after three-pointers from Gibbs and sophomore Akwia Tilton. From there, the Tigers mounted a 15-0 run capped off by a layup from Abigail Crum, who finished with 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds as part of a perfect 5-for-5 showing from the field.

Wittenberg stretched its lead to nine at the halftime break after holding a 14-12 advantage in the second period. At the 5:46 mark, first-year Maria Janasko capped off a 6-2 run, with all points from Janasko, to bring the Scots' deficit to four. From there, a 9-4 run granted the Tigers a 33-24 lead heading into the break.

In the third, Crum tallied five of her 12 points to stretch the Wittenberg lead to 10 heading into the fourth. The Scots kept within striking distance, however, twice reaching back within seven points, including at the 3:41 mark after a pair of made free throws from sophomore Aubri McKoy.

First-year Sarah Rapacz kicked off the fourth period with a deft left-handed layup to bring the Scots to within eight (48-40) before a 15-7 run witnessed the Tigers reach their biggest lead of the game with 5:37 remaining.

Down but not out, the Scots clawed back to with seven points with 2:24 remaining after a 10-1 run over a span of 3:13. After a Janasko layup, four straight offensive rebounds helped the Tigers burn over half of the remaining clock as Wittenberg managed to hold on for its third conference win of the season.

Up next, Wooster travels to Kenyon College (13-3, 6-1 NCAC) on Wednesday, Jan. 17 for a 6 p.m. tipoff.