TIFFIN – Too little, too late.
The Heidelberg University women's basketball team could not complete a late comeback in the second half of their 75-68 loss to Wilmington College on Saturday.
After trailing by as many as 17 in the second half, Heidelberg (10-8, 3-8 OAC) drew the Quaker lead down to four with 1:40 left on a 3-pointer from Shelby Dearth. When 'Berg head coach Morgan Shriver called timeout to set up the defense, a smiling Dearth retreated to an energized HU bench.
Out of the timeout, Wilmington (11-8, 8-4 OAC) turned the ball over to Heidelberg. The Student Princes, however, returned the favor at the other end.
A pair of Quaker free throws pushed the WC lead back to six.
Phillips found Carli Patrick cutting to the basket for a layup with 25 seconds remaining, which cut deficit back to four, 72-68.
Three more free throws coupled with two missed 3-pointers for Heidelberg sealed the game for the visitors.
"They wanted it more than us," said Shriver. "They had a three-hour bus ride and they came off ready to go."
Wilmington lead by 17 at halftime, 40-23, thanks to a 21-10 rebounding edge and shooting 24-of-48 from the floor.
Abrecht connected on a pair of 3-pointers early in the second half. The Student Princes began the half on a 13-3 run.
A pair of steals by Wilmington's Brittaney Jefferson swung momentum back to the Quakers, who rebuilt their lead to 17 midway through the second half before the spirited HU rally.
The Student Princes entered the game as one of five teams with three conference wins. Fortunately for HU, the other four teams also fell on Saturday.
Heidelberg will host Mount Union on Monday night in Tiffin. The game makes up for the postponed contest from January 25.
"We need to play with a sense of urgency," said Shriver. "We want to win games to get into the OAC tournament. We can't wait for everyone else to lose."
Tipoff with the Purple Raiders is slated for 7 p.m., a slight departure from the standard starting time.