TIFFIN – With a steady snow falling outside, it took some time for the Heidelberg University women's basketball team to heat up. Thanks to a late surge, Heidelberg plowed past Marietta College, 78-69.
Kathleen Phillips scored 22 of her game-high 24 points in the second half as the Student Princes rallied from a 13-point second half deficit. Allie Hawkins contributed 16 points in Heidelberg's first home win of the season.
Heidelberg (7-2, 2-2 OAC) and Marietta (6-3, 1-2 OAC) struggled to find points in the early going. The game was knotted at 8 for a full six minutes as the Seiberling rims were unkind.
Later in the half, the Berg scored a flurry of points, nine in 48 seconds, to take a 27-18 lead with 3:58 remaining. Marietta closed out the half on a 16-3 run highlighted by a Mackenzie Kiser jumper in the waning seconds.
Of Heidelberg's eight field goals in the first half, six came from beyond the arc.
The Pioneers, coached by former 'Berg assistant Stacia Shrider, started the second half with an avalanche of points. A 3-pointer at 15:26 by Tori Dixon gave MC a 48-35 lead, their largest of the game.
Heidelberg head coach Morgan Shriver implored her squad to ratchet up their intensity on defense. Over an 11-minute stretch, the Tricolor forced eight Marietta turnovers.
The defensive stops quickly snowballed into points for the Berg. Carli Patrick's layup with 4:30 left tied the game at 62. Patrick finished with 10 points.
The Student Princes closed out the game on a 16-7 run, missing just one shot in the final 2:30 of the game. With ice in their veins, Hawkins and Phillips each knocked down four free throws.
"We stuck together and played team basketball when we needed to," said Shriver. "Nicole Payne played a big role in that run we made in the second half."
In 16 minutes off the bench, Payne had seven points and three steals.
Heidelberg shot 43.6% from the floor, 42.1% from behind the 3-point line and a stunning 22-of-26 from the line.
"Shooting 84% at the line was huge for us," said Shriver.
With their seventh win of the year, the Student Princes have already surpassed their total from 2012-13.
Shriver's crew will return to Sayger Court on Monday, as Westminster travels to Tiffin. Tip-off against the Titans is slated for 6 p.m.