The seventh-seeded Hiram College women’s basketball team was defeated by No. 2 seed Ohio Wesleyan University, 94-49, tonight (Wednesday, Feb. 27) in a quarterfinal game of the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament at Branch Rickey Arena in Delaware. [Box Score]
With the loss, the Terriers end their season 5-20 overall while OWU improves to 18-7 overall and will advance to play Wittenberg University on Friday (Feb. 29) in the NCAC semifinals.
Hiram kept the game close in the first nine minutes of the opening period and led, 14-12, at the 11:08 minute mark on a three-pointer by freshman guard Ally Cook (Ravenna/Crestwood). OWU answered with a 7-0 scoring run to take a five-point lead, 19-14, with 8:40 to play before halftime. The Terriers cut the deficit to a single basket, 19-17, on their ensuing trip down the floor thanks to a three-point play by freshman forward Caitlyn Ruese (Strongsville) with 8:22 left in the period. The Bishops then outscored Hiram, 20-4, to reach their largest lead of the half, 39-21, at the 2:04 minute mark and took a 44-29 advantage heading into the locker rooms.
Hiram opened the second half with a three-pointer by junior guard Stephanie Zunic (Canfield)with 19:40 remaining, narrowing the gap to 44-32. But the Terriers would not score again until the 12:03 minute mark as OWU tallied 20 unanswered points during the Hiram scoring drought to take a commanding 64-32 lead. OWU never looked back as it reached its largest margin of the game, 91-43, with just under two minutes to play en route to the 94-49 final.
OWU had five players score in double figures led by Laurel Lawson’s game-high 13 points. Steffi Graf and Katie Hamilton were second with 11 points each. Kelli Lester and Kayla Gordon rounded out the Bishop high scorers with 10 points each.
Hiram had two players in double digits with Zunic and senior forward Katie Grendel (Independence) each scoring 10 points.
Grendel ended her two-year career scoring a career-high in points in her final game. In two seasons, she tallied 53 total points with a 35.6 lifetime shooting percentage (26-of-73) and grabbed 53 rebounds (2.0 rebounds per game).