TIFFIN -- On Senior Day, the Heidelberg University women's basketball team fell to Otterbein University, 78-68. With the win, the Cardinals earned the fifth seed in next week's Ohio Athletic Conference tournament. Heidelberg falls to the eighth seed. The two teams will meet again on Monday in Westerville.
With the loss, Heidelberg closed the regular season 9-16, 7-11 in the OAC. Otterbein improved to 14-11, 9-9 in the OAC.
Theresa Jackson had a team-high 16 points, including two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
Payne was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and finished with nine points
Carli Patrick had 12 points and eight boards in the losing effort.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Otterbein grabbed the lead with 6:59 left in the second, 20-18, on a pair of free throws by Abby Miduri. Miduri followed that a layup on a fast break off a Berg miss. Miduri's flurry ignited a 14-3 run for the Cardinals.
Down 29-21, Heidelberg responded with baskets by Patrick, Liburdi and Hawkins. Otterbein countered with a 3-pointer by Dani Kissel and a three-point play by Taylor Pifher. Otterbein led 38-29 at intermission.
A 5-0 run for the Cardinals prompted an early third quarter timeout by Heidelberg head coach Morgan Shriver with her team down 14. Barnes and Payne knocked down sorely-needed 3-pointers, cutting the Otterbein lead to 43-35.
Throughout the entire third quarter, Otterbein had an answer for every Berg run and held a 56-46 lead into the fourth.
The visitors started the fourth quarter with an 11-4 run to take a 17-point lead with 6:24 to play. Otterbein maintained a comfortable lead and finished with all five starters in double figures. Kiersten Taylor had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Heidelberg's loss snapped a string for four straight wins over Otterbein.
QUOTES FROM THE COACH
Head coach Morgan Shriver on what made the difference: "The second quarter is what killed us. They just had a lot of transition baskets."
Shriver on her team's play: "Our shooting percentage in the first half was really poor, and then we were playing catch-up the entire second half. Every time we would hit a big shot, they would counter it and hit another one, so we could never close down their lead."
Shriver on the rematch with Otterbein on Monday: "The things that beat us today were the things we said they were going to beat us with, so if our girls can buy in now and see that they beat us because of what we told them and correct those things, we'll be able to go in there and get a win on Monday."
OAC TOURNAMENT INFORMATION
No. 5 Otterbein will host No. 8 Heidelberg at 7:30 p.m. on Monday. Tournament and ticket information is available here. Otterbein and Heidelberg have met twice in the OAC tournament. Otterbein won 81-62 in 1998 and Heidelberg won 81-56 in 1999. Both games were in Westerville.
The winner of the OTT/HEID game travels to No. 4 Baldwin Wallace on Tuesday.