TIFFIN, Ohio – The Heidelberg University women's basketball team, under the direction of alumnus and first-year head coach Morgan Shriver, earned their first OAC Tournament berth in four seasons.
"We knew coming in to today that we were in a really good spot," said Shriver. "It was great to see the seniors come out and lead us into the postseason."
The Student Princes faced a win or go home scenario as they played hosted to the Otterbein Cardinals in their final regular season matchup.
Heidelberg's seniors -- Molly Schriber, Kathleen Phillips, Kyra Dorney and Megan Miller -- were honored before tipoff. The quartet combined for 57 of the Berg's 77 points in their final game in front of the 'Berg faithful.
"Getting into the tournament has been our goal for the past four seasons," said Dorney. "For it to happen on Senior Day is just amazing."
The seniors had never earned a berth to the Ohio Athletic Conference tournament in their tenure -- until today. Phillips, Schriber and Miller all finished in double-figures to propel the Student Princes to their crucial victory.
"We all played very well as a team today, which allowed individuals to step up," said Miller.
Phillips led the Berg women offensively with a 26-point performance. The third leading scorer in program history, Phillips also tallied five rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
"My teammates did a great job of executing offensively," said Phillips. "It was a nice way to close things out at home. Seiberling has been good to me for the last four years."
Schriber had a career game as she bid farewell to her home court. The Sidney native tallied a career-high 19 points while collecting a career-high eight assists. Miller concluded her final home game with ten points, tied a team-high with five rebounds and recorded a game-high four steals.
As a role player and go-to rebounder in Shriver's system, Dorney finished with two points and two rebounds against the Cardinals.
It was all Heidelberg from the tipoff as the only lead the Berg gave up was a 2-0 lead in the first 0:40 of the game. The Student Princes immediately took control of the game on the following possession and began to pour it on the Cardinals. The Berg women obtained their first double-digit lead of the game, 17-6, at the 13:12 mark.
With a 16-point advantage at the start of the second half, 40-24, the Student Princes were relentless in holding off Otterbein. The Berg gained their largest lead of the game, 19, by pushing the score to 65-46 with 9:14 remaining.
Despite a 13-5 run by the Cardinals in the closing minutes of the game, the Berg maintained their double-digit advantage to bring their 2013-14 regular season to a close.
Their victory over Otterbein earns the Student Princes the eighth seed in the 2013-14 OAC tournament and a game with the Wilmington Quakers.
"We're hyped – we're ready," said Schriber. "Wilmington is a very tough opponent, so we need to be at our best."
The Student Princes will travel to Wilmington, Ohio on Monday, February 24 for the first round of the OAC tournament. The Capital Crusaders will await the winner of the Heidelberg-Wilmington contest.
The winner of Monday's matchup will travel to Bexley, Ohio to battle the Crusaders on Tuesday, February 25.