TIFFIN – Playing the 1,000th game in program history, the Heidelberg University women's basketball team defeated Capital University, 62-56. The win snapped Capital's 14-game winning streak over Heidelberg, which covered a span of 2,558 days.
Heidelberg out-hustled the Crusaders in the second half, outscoring the visitors by 11 points after halftime.
Junior guard Allie Hawkins tied a career high with 16 points, including three 3-pointers in Heidelberg's second half comeback. She added five rebounds and three assists.
Sophomore forward Carli Patrick amassed 13 points and eight rebounds, falling shy of notching her 11th double-double of the season. She added four steals in the victory.
Junior post Marisa Liburdi only contributed two points and three rebounds statistically, but she sparked a second half rally with a forceful tie-up/takedown on a missed shot midway through the period.
Over the first three minutes, Heidelberg (7-8, 5-3 OAC) climbed out to a 9-4 advantage. Capital (7-8, 3-5 OAC) quickly righted their ship and took the lead with a quick 10-0 run. The streak snowballed into a 25-10 run for CAP, who led 29-19 with 6:29 remaining.
Heidelberg head coach Morgan Shriver called timeout to stop the bleeding. Her team responded with seven straight points, cutting into the Crusader advantage. Capital took a five-point edge into halftime, 33-28.
A layup by Patrick nearly six minutes into the second half cut Capital's lead to one, at 40-39. Both teams would remain scoreless over the next 3:12.
Near the end of the scoring skid, Liburdi leapt to grab a rebound off a missed layup. In trying to yank the ball away from Capital's Jenna Erwin, Liburdi ripped the pair down to the hardwood. Though the possession arrow gave the ball to Capital, Liburdi's takedown and gentle shove of Erwin ignited the orange-clad Student Princes.
On the next Heidelberg possession, Theresa Jackson drained a jumper in the paint and put Heidelberg back in front, 41-40. Moments later, layups by Hawkins and Jackson preceded one of the game's biggest shots.
In transition off a Capital miss, Hawkins buried a 3-pointer from the corner to push the Tricolor lead out to six, 48-42.
Still holding a six-point cushion with 3:19 remaining, Hawkins sank another 3-pointer. The shot rattled into the cylinder, ricocheted out onto the back of rim and eventually rolled through the hoop. The Seiberling Gymnasium crowd erupted as the Student Princes grabbed their largest lead of the game, 57-48.
In the game's final minute, the Crusaders crept to within three, 59-56. Feverishly trying to force a turnover, Capital fouled Nicole Payne near midcourt. In the double bonus, Payne calmly stepped to the line and delivered both free throws.
Capital's faint hopes faded with a turnover on the ensuing possession.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Heidelberg's last win over Capital, a 57-56 triumph, came on January 16, 2008. Shriver was a junior in college.
Capital won the battle on the glass convincingly, out-rebounding the Berg 45-30.
Despite 18 offensive boards, Capital only managed nine second chance points.
The Heidelberg defense tallied a season-high five blocked shots.
The Crusaders shot 46.9% from the floor in the first half, but only 27.6% in the second half. Conversely, Heidelberg was 34.5% before intermission and 52.2% after.
Head coach Morgan Shriver on picking up a key win over Capital: "This team coming in was preseason #1 in the conference, so confidence-wise for our team, we keep talking about building it and playing together at the right time in the season."
Shriver on her team's success in the OAC: "We're starting to get there and starting to understand that no team should scare us ... Heidelberg is the only team that can beat Heidelberg. We were able to bounce back after a close loss. We used our momentum in the second half to pull away."
Shriver on Heidelberg's tempo: "When we really started to push the ball, we started to wear them down a bit. Allie Hawkins stepped up and hit two huge threes in transition, completely changing that momentum. When we took the lead at 41, I don't think we looked back."
The first half of the OAC slate wraps up at Heidelberg welcomes front-running Ohio Northern to Seiberling Gymnasium. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.