RICHMOND – The Heidelberg University women's basketball team got off to a solid start for the 2014-15 season, knocking off host Earlham in the season-opener for both teams on Saturday. The Student Princes build an eight-point halftime advantage and added on to that in the second half, never allowing the Quakers to get back into the ballgame, finishing off the day with an 88-73 win.
The two teams battled back and forth to open the game, as the score was knotted at 10 seven minutes into the first half. The Berg went on a run to build a lead thanks to eight point by Marisa Liburdi during the stretch, giving the Student Princes a 22-13 lead.
Heidelberg continued to build upon their lead and made it 13 after a pair of free throws by Paige Ricketts. Earlham did respond, however, chipping away at the lead and making the score 38-30 in favor of the Berg entering halftime.
The second half opened up much like the first when the teams traded baskets and the score stood at 44-38. Heidelberg then went on another run, and three pointers by Allie Hawkins and Jackie Abrecht helped make the score 56-40 with just over 13 minutes to play in the game.
From that point on, the Student Princes were able to maintain their lead, never allowing the Quakers to get back within single digits, pulling away in the end for a 15-point victory.
"The team chemistry is the best we've had here by far" said head coach Morgan Shriver. "Everyone is really excited for each other and we played really unselfishly with great ball movement. Allie was great at point guard and didn't make a turnover and hit a couple big shots for us. Marisa couldn't be stopped in the post and when they started double-teaming her it really opened up the floor for us. Nicole Payne came on strong off the bench for us on her 21st birthday as well."
Liburdi was the leading scorer on the evening with 24 points in her first day playing for the Tricolor. Hawkins and Payne were next on the team with 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Theresa Jackson chipped in 10. Paige Ricketts was the leading rebounder in the game with seven, also dishing out a team-high four assists.
As a team, Heidelberg out-rebounded Earlham 46-36 in the game including 15 on the offensive side of the floor.
The Student Princes move to 1-0 on the season and will quickly look to add to that with their next game being tomorrow, November 16th against Indiana University East. That game will tip-off at 1:00 p.m. in Richmond, Indiana.