MARIETTA, Ohio – The Heidelberg University women's basketball team needed it. Senior guard Jackie Abrecht needed it. The ball swung to her, she stepped into it, she buried it – and the lead was back up to six.
Abrecht's 3-pointer came as part of a 23-point fourth quarter which vaulted the Student Princes to a 61-50 win over Marietta College on a snowy Saturday along the banks of the Ohio River. The win snapped a three-game skid for Heidelberg and pushed their record to 7-10, 5-5 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Marietta fell to 9-8, 3-7 in the OAC.
Carli Patrick had 12 points and 14 rebounds – her 20th career double-double, and first of the 2016 calendar year.
Marisa Liburdi contributed a team-high 16 points and had nine rebounds.
Mariah Pearson was the other Student Prince in double-figures as she finished with a career-high 10 points.
Heidelberg scored as many points (23) in the first half as they did in the fourth quarter.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both teams got off to a sluggish start in a first period marred by misses and miscues. Marietta's Amisha Herd hit a 3-pointer from near midcourt at the horn to give her team a 16-12 lead.
A 3-pointer by Megan Dixon pushed the Pioneers lead out to eight – their largest of the game – with 2:51 left before half. A Patrick free throw and a Liburdi jumper made it 28-23 at the break.
Pearon hit a jumper with 5:09 left in the third which gave the orange-clad Student Princes a brief 32-30 lead, capping off a 9-2 run to start the period. The Pioneers scored the next seven points to regain momentum.
Trailing 43-38 early in the fourth, Heidelberg began a 23-7 run that would secure the win. With 4:11 left, Patrick converted a three-point play off a feed from Pearson. An offensive foul gave the ball back to HU and Liburdi drained a jumper. After an MC miss, Pearson added a bucket – giving Heidelberg a 51-45 cushion.
Marietta's Morgan Liedtke hit an off-balanced 3-pointer to breathe some life into the staggering Pioneer spirit. Abrecht, though, calmly stroked an in-rhythm 3-pointer from the right point to push the Student Prince lead back out to six with less than two minutes left. Abrecht had eight points in the game.
Heidelberg didn't attempt another field goal for the remainder of the game. Instead, the Tricolor hit seven free throws to seal the deal. Nicole Payne hit the last five and finished with seven points.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Heidelberg swept the season series, having won 51-48 at home in December. It's Heidelberg's fifth win in the last six meetings against Marietta.
The Student Prince bench outscored their counterparts 31-9.
Heidelberg won the battle on the glass, 55-34.
Head coach Morgan Shriver on her team's performance: "We stuck to our game plan even when our shots weren't falling and turnovers plagued us ... We owned the boards tonight and had a great balance of different players stepping up and hitting big shots ... Our ability to go deep into our bench helped us get the win over a very dangerous Marietta team."
The Student Princes head to John Carroll University (9-7, 4-5) on Wednesday. For HU, it is the fourth of four straight on the road. Tipoff from University Heights is slated for 7:30 p.m.