TIFFIN – The Heidelberg University women's basketball team continues to prosper in 2015, sneaking out of Seiberling Gymnasium with a 78-77 win over Otterbein on Saturday. The Student Princes led by 11 with six minutes left, but did not score a point over the final 3:17. A desperation 3-pointer by Otterbein's Chelsea Reed sailed wide as time expired.
The win marks the third in a row for Heidelberg (6-7, 4-2) – all OAC victories – since the ball dropped at Times Square.
Senior Paige Ricketts filled the stat sheet, finishing with 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Carli Patrick continued her impressive sophomore campaign. She tallied her ninth double-double, racking up 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Theresa Jackson notched a team-high 13 points in the contest, including 10 in the second half.
Two early Heidelberg runs drew timeouts from Otterbein head coach (and Heidelberg alumna) Connie Richardson. Crisp passing on the interior led to a number of easy looks for the Student Princes in the paint.
The Cardinals got behind 6-0 and never led in the opening frame. Trailing by eight on two separate occasions, Otterbein cut the HU lead to two before the break.
After Otterbein tied the game the first minute of the final 20 minutes, Patrick took control with six straight points as part of a 10-1 run for Heidelberg.
Later, it was Shelby Dearth's chance to take control of the Heidelberg offense. The junior scored nine points in a 10-2 Heidelberg run that put the Tricolor on top by 11, 65-54.
From there, Heidelberg struggled with the ball. The final HU basket, a driving layup by Ricketts, came with 3:17 remaining and put Heidelberg up 78-70.
Trailing by less than three, Otterbein had seven opportunities to tie it up or take the lead, but failed to hit the big shot.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Four Student Princes hit double figures, with Dearth (11 points) joining Jackson, Ricketts and Patrick.
Heidelberg maintained a slight edge on the glass (31-30) and in the turnover battle (13-14).
Head coach Morgan Shriver on the play of Patrick and Ricketts: "I've said it all season, Paige and Carli are our two constants, and if they're ready to play the game, our whole team is ready. Whenever we have these two on the court I know we're confident in them and our team's confident in them."
Shriver on what to take away from today: "I think we can take this game and learn from it and know that we have to stay hungry for every game. No one is going to take it easy on us, we need to be that true blue-collar team that we are and work hard every possession."
Ricketts on what goes through her head at the end of a close game: "I always think confidently. As bad as it may seem, I know that if I make a mistake, Carli has my back. Pretty much feeding off of if the fact that if I make a mistake, the team has my back."
Patrick on the physicality of today's game: "I like being in a more physical game, where the refs let me play, because it lets me be physical back. Today, they were letting us bang up and down, and the more rebounds I can get, I fuel off of offensive rebounds."
Coach Shriver and company will hit the road for a 7:30 p.m. game at Baldwin Wallace on Wednesday. After the tussle with the Yellow Jackets, the Tricolor will return home to face Capital next Saturday. The game against the Crusaders marks the 1,000th game in program history.