WESTERVILLE -- For what seemed like the first time all month, the No. 8 seed Heidelberg University women's basketball team hit the big shots when it mattered. The result -- a 71-62 win over No. 5 seed Otterbein University -- propelled the Student Princes into the second round of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament.
Junior Carli Patrick tallied the 22nd double-double of her career (seventh of the season) as she finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds
HOW IT HAPPENED
It was a dream start for the Student Princes, who led 10-4 at the first media timeout before pushing out to a 15-4 lead. After an Otterbein bucket, Allie Hawkins banked in a 3-pointer from the top of the arc. HU led 18-8 after one.
Turnovers and near-misses around the rim allowed the Cardinals to get within three at 23-20. After an Otterbein miss, Patrick converted a three-point play to push the lead back to six. A strong take by Patrick on the block followed by a 3-pointer by Maggie Davault helped HU get back out to a 32-23 halftime advantage.
After shooting 25% from the floor and 16.7% from beyond the arc in the first half, Otterbein found their rhythm early in the second half. A 3-pointer by Abby Miduri forced Heidelberg head coach Morgan Shriver to call a timeout with 6:50 left in the third. A 3-pointer by Barnes helped the orange-clad Student Princes settle into the flow of the game.
Up 52-47 after three, Heidelberg opened up a 10-point lead early in the fourth. Otterbein cut it down to five, but Heidelberg answered with layups by Nicole Payne and Theresa Jackson. The lead ballooned up to 14 with two 3-pointers by Shelby Dearth.
Otterbein cut the lead down to 67-60 with 90 seconds left. Hawkins, a senior, answered with two driving layups late in the shot clock. Her baskets helped Heidelberg seal up the 71-62 victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Heidelberg has won tournament games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1999-2000 (at Otterbein) and 2000-01 (at Wilmington).
Otterbein was led by senior Amariah Huck, who poured in 18 points. Huck finished her career with 1,103 points and 523 rebounds.
QUOTES FROM THE COACH
Head coach Morgan Shriver on the difference between Saturday's loss and Monday's win: "The players bought into the game plan and executed exactly how we wanted defensively ... We wanted to limit their guards, and I think we did that tonight."
Shriver on getting big shots: "Girls came in off the bench and knocked down shots ... It was a great team win and I think you could get a sense that our team had fun."
OAC TOURNAMENT INFORMATION
The Student Princes advance to face No. 4 Baldwin Wallace in Berea on Tuesday. Heidelberg and BW split the season series this year. HU's win was their first over the Yellow Jackets since 2004 and first in Berea since the 1993-94 campaign. The Student Princes are 1-6 vs. BW in the history of the OAC Tournament -- with all six losses coming in Berea.
Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.